North Texas vs Wisconsin NIT Predictions, Odds, and Picks: Mean Green Keep Badgers Guessing

The NIT semifinal is here to soothe our college basketball needs while patiently awaiting the Final Four, and Wisconsin will look to conquer North Texas. Unfortunately for the Badgers, our picks don't expect them to pull off the win.

Last Updated: Mar 28, 2023 1:19 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Tylor Perry North Texas Mean Green
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The North Texas Mean Green and Wisconsin Badgers are facing off to decide one half of the NIT Championship game. 

The Mean Green got here by defeating Oklahoma State and Sam Houston State, and while North Texas needed overtime to win against the Cowboys, it was dominant in that frame. The Badgers made it here through a close contest as well, passing Oregon via a late second-half comeback.

What's the best bet for this NIT semifinal? Find out in our college basketball picks and predictions for North Texas vs. Wisconsin.

Be sure to also check out our March Madness picks page along with our March Madness odds page ahead of this weekend's Final Four matchup.

North Texas vs Wisconsin best odds

North Texas vs Wisconsin picks and predictions

Want to hear a shocking stat? From the start of February, BartTorvik has rated North Texas as the 12th-best team in the country. It's pretty stunning for an NIT team, but that's the case. 

The Mean Green have gone 11-2 in that span, posted an offensive efficiency that's 27th nationally, and a defense efficiency that's 17th nationally. With all this said, I'm riding with the Mean Green as my best bet. They are the better team but also have a few significant advantages. 

Big man Abou Ousmane's absence has forced North Texas to play smaller, placing Moulaye Sissoko at the five. Thus, he'll become the primary defender on Badger star Tyler Wahl, one of Wisconsin's primary sources of offense.

This is a slight upgrade for the Mean Green. On the year, Sissoko has allowed just .69 points per possession on post-ups, while the player he's replacing allowed .72 points per possession. Wisconsin has yet to be an offensive juggernaut this season, and if North Texas can upgrade even more defensively because of a lineup change, then that's a huge deal. 

On the other side of the ball, the Mean Green should only need a little offense here to win, and luckily for them, it'll own one excellent advantage there.

Wisconsin ranked 10th in the Big Ten in pick-and-roll defense this season. It plagued the team, allowing 42% of these actions and being a chief source of why it missed the NCAA Tournament. North Texas only gets a few efficient offensive sets but is highly effective in pick-and-rolls.

Tylor Perry and Kai Huntsberry have combined for a deadly pick-and-roll combo, posting .86 points per possession on these sets — Top 15% in college basketball. Of course, you have to account for the opponent's strength, but Wisconsin saw just one team that scored higher points per possession on pick-and-roll sets in the Big Ten this season. That team was Northwestern, and it lost both matchups.

We're backing North Texas here. We expect a grinder, but it's one that the Mean Green should be able to find more offense in. 

My best bet: North Texas -1.5 (-110 at FanDuel)

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North Texas vs Wisconsin spread analysis

We're rolling with North Texas to get it done in this spot and my projections see a hefty edge in this game. They have Mean Green winning by a few possessions with an average margin of victory around eight points.

In general, North Texas has played better than Wisconsin in this tournament. It knocked out number one seed Oklahoma State with a dominating overtime, while the Badgers were lucky to pull off the win against Oregon.

The Mean Green have been hot lately, going 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games following a straight up win. On the other side, Wisconsin has struggled recently for consistency, with the Badgers going 1-9-2 ATS in their 12 after a SU win. 

North Texas vs Wisconsin Over/Under analysis

I'm going to sprinkle a little Over here. 

It's a bit too low, and my projections show a slightly higher game. North Texas totals are notoriously low because no team in college basketball plays fewer possessions per game than it. However, Wisconsin also plays a very low-possession game.

While it's natural to think that this means it'll be much more low scoring, I believe it means the Badgers will feel comfortable executing in these situations. So I lean Over here, but you'll likely find a better number in-game. 

North Texas vs Wisconsin betting trend to know

North Texas is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 games following a straight up win. Find more college basketball betting trends for North Texas vs. Wisconsin.

North Texas vs Wisconsin game info

Location: Orleans Arena, Paradise, NV
Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET

North Texas vs Wisconsin key injuries

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