College funds: Thursday's best NCAAB bets

Jan 25, 2012 |
Indiana Hoosiers at Wisconsin Badgers (-7, 126)

Wisconsin goes for its fifth straight victory when it hosts No. 17 Indiana on Thursday. The No. 25 Badgers stumbled to a 1-3 start in the Big Ten, but have bounced back over the last two weeks, most recently in a 67-63 victory at Illinois on Sunday.

Despite their uneven play in the conference, the Badgers still lead the nation in points allowed (49.6), field goal percentage defense (35.9) and fewest turnovers (9.0). Their inconsistent offense, though, ranks only 10th in the Big Ten in scoring (65.6), 10th in shooting (43.5 percent) and 11th in assists (12.0).

Senior point guard Jordan Taylor leads Wisconsin with 14.1 points and 4.4 assists. The Badgers are shooting 70.8 percent from the foul line, a big drop from last year's NCAA-best 81.8 percent.

Meanwhile, Indiana leads the Big Ten in scoring (79.8), field goal percentage (50.0) and 3-point percentage (44.9).

This could go down to the wire.
Pick: Hoosiers

Boston College Eagles at Virginia Cavaliers (-18, N/A)

Virginia was one of the nation’s most pleasant surprises in the non-conference season but will try to prevent another ACC stumble when it welcomes slumping Boston College on Thursday.

The No. 21 Cavaliers won 14 of their first 15 games but have dropped two of the last three, including a 47-45 home decision to Virginia Tech in which they shot a season-low 32.6 percent. That was Virginia’s first game without 7-foot senior center Assane Sene, who is expected to miss at least six weeks.

The Cavaliers still boast the nation’s second-best scoring defense but may play around with a four-guard lineup to create more offense in Sene’s absence.

There’s no better team to experiment on than Boston College, which is still struggling to jell with 11 new players and nine freshmen. The Eagles have lost five of seven and don’t have a road victory.

Pick: Cavaliers

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