The Wisconsin Badgers are on a roll, winning (and covering) five straight games and finding themselves ranked at No. 8 in the country, after the 15-2 Badgers secured a win over Northwestern on Tuesday.
Up next for Wisconsin is hosting the Michigan State Spartans tonight. MSU also played Northwestern its last time out, falling to the Wildcats over the weekend. The Spartans had been on a roll before that but now must hit the road to face Wisconsin as a college basketball betting underdog on Friday, followed by visiting Illinois after that.
Will the Spartans get back on track, or will the Badgers prove to be superior at home? Check out our free college basketball picks and predictions for Michigan State vs. Wisconsin on Friday, January 21, to find out.
Michigan State vs Wisconsin odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
Michigan State has taken some money, dropping from +4.5 to +3.5 since the opener. The total has remained constant at 140 across most books.
Michigan State vs Wisconsin predictions
Predictions made on 1/21/2022 at 8:08 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Michigan State vs Wisconsin game info
• Location: Kohl Center, Madison, WI
• Date: Friday, January 21, 2022
• Tip-off: 9:00 p.m. ET
• TV: Fox Sports 1
Michigan State at Wisconsin betting preview
Michigan State: Steven Izzo G (Out), Davis Smith G (Out).
Wisconsin: Tyler Wahl F (Probable).
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.
Betting trend to know
Wisconsin is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games as a favorite. Find more NCAA betting trends for Michigan State vs. Wisconsin.
Michigan State vs Wisconsin picks and predictions
Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.
Wisconsin has been one of the 10 best teams in the country to begin the season, coming in at No. 8 in the AP Top 25 poll. The recipe for success has been a balanced attack: The numbers don’t jump off the page and wow you at first, but the Badgers allow only 65.8 points per game on the defensive side of the ball, and the offense is led by arguably the country’s top performer to date in guard Johnny Davis.
Davis is averaging 22.1 points and 7.5 rebounds per game and has put up some impressive outings, including 37 points against Purdue and 30 against Houston. Brad Davison is still a key in the backcourt as well, while Tyler Wahl and Steven Crowl are a presence in the paint. Wahl left the Northwestern game due to injury but is expected to be ready to go on Friday night.
Michigan State, however, won’t be an easy out. The 14th-ranked Spartans are 14-3 overall this season, with two of those losses coming to highly ranked opponents (No. 3 Kansas, No. 6 Baylor). Defense has been the primary calling card for MSU, holding teams to just 39.1% shooting overall and 29.1% from deep, and offensively it shoots a blistering 38.8% from 3-point range.
We believe Wisconsin is the slightly better team, while we also believe there is a scheduling advantage for the Badgers. Tuesday’s game at Northwestern was supposed to be a trap spot, but the Badgers just kept on rolling.
Why was it supposed to be a trap spot?
They were supposed to be looking ahead to tonight’s game against Michigan State — the team who just lost to Northwestern its last time out. The Badgers will be primed and ready at home, with only 6-13 Nebraska looming ahead (and No. 17 Illinois on tap for MSU). Sure, the Badgers are playing on two days' rest, but everything else about the scheduling spot is in their favor.
Michigan State has been playing good basketball, but the wins have been narrow and now comes a difficult two-game road trip, with a visit to Champaign up next.
The Badgers are 12-5 ATS this season and we think they cash once again. Give us the better team at home on Friday night.
Prediction: Wisconsin -3.5 (-105)
Despite playing at a slow pace (235th in Adjusted Tempo, per KenPom), Wisconsin has actually been going Over the total with regularity. The Badgers are 12-5 to the Over, cashing in in each of the last seven games.
The Spartans are dead even at 8-8-1 to the Over. They should be able to hit some threes in this contest, as their 38.8% efficiency from downtown is 15th in the nation, while Wisconsin allows opponents to hit 33.2% of their triples — 196th in the country.
Michigan State’s defense is solid enough to give Wisconsin’s offense problems, but Davis & Co. will find a way to score and the Spartans’ tempo should counteract some of the efficiency.
The Badgers have cashed seven straight Overs, and we’re not stepping in front of that train now.
Prediction: Over 140 (-105)
We fancy the Badgers in this matchup.
These are two very close teams on paper, but we like the scheduling spot for Wisconsin despite being on two days of rest. The Badgers have been a covering machine and even prevailed through what was supposed to be a trap spot last time out.
Until the money train stops, we’ll be along for the ride.
Pick: Wisconsin -3.5 (-105)
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