Iowa (15-6) at Wisconsin (15-7)
When: Thursday, February 18th, 2021
Where: Kohl Center,
Time: 7:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Wisconsin -1/145.5
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The Iowa Hawkeyes and Wisconsin Badgers are fighting for a top four seed in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis and will test one another this Thursday night in Madison, Wi. The Hawkeyes have appeared to put their recent struggles behind them by winning each of their last two games by double-digits after falling out of the top 10 in the national rankings. Iowa lost four of five games (0-5 ATS) during a stretch that started and ended with losses to the Indiana Hoosiers, but bounced back by beating Rutgers 79-66 and most recently a 30-point win at Michigan State on Saturday. The nailed 13-of-25 from beyond the arc and limited the Spartans to 35.5 percent shooting in the blowout win to move the Hawkeyes to within 1.5 games of third-place Ohio State in the conference standings. The Badgers didn’t fare as well over the weekend, falling at home to a Michigan team that hadn’t played in three weeks. Wisconsin played as well as you can in the first half of that game, building a 12-point lead over the third-ranked Wolverines, but went cold in the second half in losing 67-59 and dropping behind Iowa in the Big Ten. The Badgers were ahead 57-54 with 4:01 to play before missing their final seven attempts from the field. Overall, Wisconsin scored just six points and one field goal in the last 7:45. The teams played just once last year – a 68-62 Hawkeyes win in Iowa City as 6-point favorites. The under is 5-1 in the last six encounters.
One of Iowa’s best long range shooters – guard CJ Frederick – has been out of the lineup for much of the month which means head coach Fran McCaffery has had to do some lineup shuffling. The coach’s son, Connor, moved from power forward to shooting guard and hit 4-of-6 three-pointers en route to scoring 16 points against Michigan State. Jordan Wieskamp (21 points) and reserve Jack Nunge (18) led the way to offset a poor shooting night from star Luka Garza, who was held to a season-low eight points on 3-of-11 shooting. Iowa’s offense is second overall in the nation with an average of 87.4 points per game to go with a 55.4 effective field goal percentage – 20th-best. The Hawkeyes also boast the best adjusted offensive efficiency rating (127.6) in Division I basketball.
The under is 3-2 in Iowa’s last five games on the road.
Hawkeyes are 19-40-2 ATS in their last 61 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
Hawkeyes are 5-11-1 ATS in their last 17 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
Hawkeyes are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
Hawkeyes are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Hawkeyes are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games.
After shooting 53.8 percent in the first half on Sunday versus Michigan, Wisconsin was 7-for-28 from the field after that while missing its last 11 3-point attempts. The Badgers’ starting five combined for only 10 points on 2-for-16 shooting in the second half and the schedule doesn’t get any easier. Beginning Thursday and ending with the regular season finale at Iowa on March 7, the Badgers are set to play three of their final five games against ranked teams. Guard D’Mitrik Trice led the way Sunday with 16 points, but half of those came from the free throw line (8-of-9). Wisconsin is 319th in the nation in terms of adjusted tempo with just 65.1 possessions per 40 minutes. Wisconsin is holding opposing teams to just 0.989 points per possession and just 6.2 3-pointers per game, while ranking 19th in the nation with 62.6 points allowed per game.
Badgers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS loss.
Badgers are 10-1-2 ATS in their last 13 games following a straight up loss.
Badgers are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 Thursday games.
Badgers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Badgers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
It seems like Iowa is back on track after a couple of easy wins, while the Badgers just can’t find any consistency. Wisconsin’s lack of offensive punch is going to be their downfall in this contest. Take the Hawkeyes.
Pick: Iowa PK