Rutgers at No. 12 Wisconsin
When and Where: Monday, Dec. 3, Kohl Center, Madison, Wisc., 8 p.m. EST.
After vaulting 10 spots in the newest AP Top 25, No. 12 Wisconsin looks to complete a sweep of its early season Big Ten contests Monday night when it hosts a Rutgers squad wrapping up a challenging three-game stretch.
Scarlet Knights show fight in loss to Michigan State
Rutgers (5-2, 0-1 Big Ten) has split the first two contests in its toughest three games of the season to date. The Scarlet Knights posted a surprising 57-54 victory at Miami in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, and then gave No. 9 Michigan State a tough challenge Friday night before falling 78-67.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) December 1, 2018
Eugene Omoruyi had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Rutgers, which shot only 36.9 percent but held its own on the boards and grabbed 15 offensive rebounds. Peter Kiss and Geo Baker combined for 21 points but also shot 5 of 15 from 3-point range.
“We played well in spurts, but you have to play full 40 minutes against a team that should be ranked in the Top five,” coach Steve Pikiell told the school’s official website. “They have a lot of weapons, good shooters and ball handlers. … We got into some foul trouble. They are a very good team.”
Omoryui, who is averaging team highs of 15.1 points and 9.1 rebounds, has recorded two double-doubles in his last three games and has four on the season. He is also 10 for 22 from 3-point range after going 0 for 16 in his first two seasons.
Baker is also averaging in double figures at 14.6 points, and Kiss is just off that standard at 9.9 per game. Rutgers, which has lost 35 consecutive road games to AP Top 25 teams since a 77-64 win at then-No. 13 Pittsburgh on Jan. 26, 2008, is holding teams to 38.3 percent shooting and 59.6 points per game.
Badgers pick up first win over ranked foe
Wisconsin (7-1, 1-0) had a slew of wins over high-major schools before its conference opener, and Greg Gard’s team added a Division I-high fifth as well as its first over an AP Top 25 team with Friday night’s 72-66 victory at No. 14 Iowa.
The Badgers’ early season resume has been well received by AP Top 25 voters, who kicked them up 10 spots in the most recent poll released Monday morning.
D’Mitrik Trice hit four 3-pointers en route to 20 points and Ethan Happ added 13 and seven rebounds for the Badgers, who limited the Hawkeyes to 39 percent shooting overall and 6 for 24 from 3-point range.
— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) December 2, 2018
“We knew obviously we were going to be very well tested before we got here,” coach Greg Gard said told Madison.com. “How we were going to be (record-wise) once we got here, you didn’t know as you looked at the schedule as it unfolded. But I felt coming into tonight having been where we had been and who we had played, we were ready for this.”
Happ and Trice share the team lead in scoring at 17.4 points per game. Friday night’s win marked the first time Happ, who is averaging 11.6 rebounds, did not record at least a double-double, and he is also averaging 5.3 assists while shooting 55.3 percent.
Trice is shooting a blistering 58.3 percent (28 for 48) from 3-point range, keying a Badgers team that is connecting at a 42.1 percent clip from beyond the arc.
Like Rutgers, Wisconsin is playing solid on the defensive end — the Badgers are limiting teams to 61.0 points per game, 28.5 percent shooting from 3-point range and 39.7 percent overall. Since Rutgers joined the Big Ten in 2015, the Badgers have won three of the five games between the teams and are 2-0 in Madison.
- 5-2 ATS in its last seven games as a favorite of 13 or more points.
- 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games following a straight up win.
- 9-2 ATS in its last 11 games vs. above-.500 teams.
- The under is 7-3 in its last 10 games against above-.600 teams.
- The under is 4-0 in its last four games vs. Big Ten teams.
- The under is 3-1-1 in its last five games vs. above-.500 teams.
- 22-45 ATS in its last 67 games following a straight up loss.
- 17-35-1 ATS in its last 53 road games as an underdog of 13 or more points.
- The road team is 0-5 ATS in the last five meetings between the teams.
- The under is 4-1 in its last five games following a double-digit loss at home.
- The under is 4-1 in its last five games.
- The under is 12-5 in its last 17 games vs. above-.600 teams.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Two things are at play here, one being Wisconsin having the personnel to match up with Omoruyi as well as Rutgers’ backcourt tandem of Kiss and Baker. The Scarlet Knights also do not have the offensive efficiency to keep up with the Badgers at the Kohl Center.
Prediction: Pick: Wisconsin -13
Full-Game Total Pick
The last three games between the teams have come in at 124 points and under, but there is some trepidation with this pick because there is also a belief Wisconsin could reach 70 in this game. The expectation is the Scarlet Knights turn this game into a grind-down affair with fewer points since the Badgers, unlike Michigan State, do not run as much. There is more confidence in taking the under with the line having moved 1.5 points higher to 126.5 since its open.
Prediction: Pick: UNDER 126.5 points
Half-Time Side Pick
This is a confidence pick in Wisconsin taking care of its business. While the Badgers did give up 36 in their last home game against North Carolina State, Rutgers is not close to the offensive efficiency the Wolfpack produce. Happ and Trice should be able to find shots against the Scarlet Knights’ pesky defense.
Prediction: Pick: Wisconsin -7
Half-Time Total Bet
Wisconsin’s first half against North Carolina State in which the teams combined for 65 was an outlier given the pace the Wolfpack play. Against other high-major schools, the Badgers have not allowed more than 33 first-half points while staying under 60 in the other five games.
The same can be said for Rutgers’ first halves against Michigan State and St. John’s. In their lone road game, the Scarlet Knights and Miami teamed up for 52 points and also have had two games come under 50. Defense is the watchword here, and whoever gets to 30 first — if they get there — will lead after 20 minutes.
Prediction: Pick: UNDER 59 points