Wisconsin vs Michigan Preview and Free Pick [2/16/2017]

Wisconsin (21-4, 10-2) at Michigan (16-9, 6-6)
When: Thursday, February 16th 2017
Where: Crisler Center, Ann Arbor, MI
Time: 7:00 ET | TV: ESPN

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The Big Ten might have trouble getting seven teams into this year’s tournament, but one of those bubble teams has a chance to make a statement on Thursday night (7 PM ET, ESPN) when the Wisconsin Badgers visit the Michigan Wolverines. The No. 11-ranked Badgers lead the conference with a 10-2 record (21-4 overall) and are 11-11 ATS; the Wolverines are in the middle of the pack at 16-9 SU and 9-13 ATS.

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Although Michigan has fallen to +20000 on the March Madness futures odds, this team has some things going for them, especially on offense, where senior guard Derrick Walton (+9.6 BPM) is putting up 17.6 points and 4.4 assists per 40 minutes while hitting 44.2% of his 3-point attempts. Walton was 3-of-5 from long range in last month’s 68-64 loss to Wisconsin (-11.5) at the Kohl Center.

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The Badgers (+3300 to win March Madness) may be the best the Big Ten has to offer, but they’re just 2-6 ATS in their last eight games, starting with that narrow victory over Michigan. They’re also coming off a 66-59 loss to the Northwestern Wildcats, once again, failing to cover as 11.5-point home favorites. Shooting just 66.6% from the free-throw line hasn’t helped their cause.

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Michigan has won four of their last six overall and is looking for a resume-building win over a team that they almost beat on the road last time. I think Michigan gets it done at home tonight.

Pick: Michigan -1