Wisconsin vs Michigan State Picks and Predictions: Spartans Can't Break the Wahl Down

Tyler Wahl wasn't in the lineup when Wisconsin lost to Michigan State in their last meeting. With Wahl active, we think it will be enough for the Badgers to keep things close while giving the Spartans added looks in our betting picks.

Last Updated: Feb 8, 2022 9:20 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Tyler Wahl Wisconsin Badgers College Basketball
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Tonight, the Michigan State Spartans host the Wisconsin Badgers in one of the more exciting Big Ten showdowns of the entire college basketball season. Michigan State is coming off of a 21-point loss to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, so it’ll be interesting to see If the team comes out with a ton of energy in an effort to rebound. 

Will the Badgers roll into East Lansing and keep things tight against the Spartans? You’ll just have to keep reading our Wisconsin vs. Michigan State college basketball betting picks and predictions to find out. 

Wisconsin vs Michigan State odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Spartans were 4.5-point favorites when this game first hit betting markets, and they’re laying anywhere between 3.5 and 4.5 at the time of this writing. Meanwhile, the total opened at 138 and is now up as high as 139.5.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.

Wisconsin vs Michigan State predictions

Predictions made on 2/8/2022 at 12:40 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Wisconsin vs Michigan State game info

Location: Breslin Center, East Lansing, MI
Date: Tuesday, February 8, 2022
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: Big Ten Network

Wisconsin at Michigan State betting preview


Wisconsin: No injuries to report.
Michigan State: No injuries to report.

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Wisconsin is 6-2 against the spread in its last eight road games against teams with winning home records. Find more NCAA betting trends for Wisconsin vs. Michigan State.

Wisconsin vs Michigan State 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.

Spread analysis

After a 51-49 win as a 9-point home favorite against the Penn State Nittany Lions, the Wisconsin Badgers have now failed to cover in each of their last five. Wisconsin should, however, be able to get up for this meeting with Michigan State, especially after losing to the Spartans at the Kohl Center in January. Michigan State won that game by 12 as a 3.5-point road underdog, but Tyler Wahl actually missed that game for Wisconsin. Wahl is the second-best player that the Badgers have to offer, and he also gives the frontcourt some much-needed juice. That’s important against the Spartans' bigs. 

Johnny Davis, who struggled in the last meeting, should be a lot better without the added pressure of needing to do everything for the Badgers. He’s one of the best players in college basketball and has seen what Michigan State's defense has to offer. Meanwhile, Brad Davison is one of the true veterans in college basketball, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he hits a couple of big triples. 

Defensively, Wisconsin is 34th in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency (all efficiency stats from KenPom.com), which makes the Badgers a fine matchup for a Spartans offense that ranks 30th in adjusted offensive efficiency. Wisconsin’s backcourt of Chucky Hepburn and Davis is unbelievable defensively, meaning Michigan State likely won’t get a lot going from the perimeter. And just having Wahl to battle defensively in the paint should help, as he’s another big body with length and good positional awareness. 

Overall, the Badgers are different than they were the first time the Spartans played them when five players scored in double figures for Michigan State. The Spartans outrebounded the Badgers by 19 in that game, but there should be some more toughness from Wisconsin here. Look for the Badgers to keep this close until the final buzzer. 

Prediction: Wisconsin +4.5 (Odds)

Over/Under analysis

Three of Wisconsin’s last four games have gone Under the total, and this is a team that knows it needs to slow the pace down in order to win this game against Michigan State. The Badgers gave up 86 the last time these two met and that’s just not going to cut it. Look for Wisconsin to lean fully into its grind-it-out approach. Wisconsin is 197th in adjusted tempo this season, and the Badgers might need to play even slower in this one. 

Under head coach Greg Gard, the Under Is 41-24 when Wisconsin is playing as an underdog. The average total points scored in those games is 128.8 points. The Under is also 21-7 in that same span when Wisconsin is coming off a game with a combined score of 115 or fewer. That generally just means that it’s Big Ten season for the Badgers, who tend to drag opponents into their style of play. 

It’s also worth mentioning that the Under is 13-6-2 in Michigan State home games against teams with winning road records. 

Prediction: Under 139.5 (-110)

Best bet

Wisconsin is capable of being more competitive against Michigan State with Wahl on the floor, and the team really missed him in the last meeting between these two. The Spartans still undoubtedly have a size advantage in this contest, but Wahl’s ability to score in the paint gives the Badgers a new dimension on offense. Wisconsin likes to dump the rock to him in the mid-post area, where he's capable of using his funky footwork to either score or set up his teammates. That takes a ton of pressure off Davis, who has struggled with extra attention in recent weeks. 

It also needs to be noted that Wisconsin is 16-7 ATS when revenging a same-season loss to an opponent under Gard. The Badgers are also facing a Spartans team that is just 8-18 ATS coming off an upset loss in which the team was favored by 10 or more points under Tom Izzo. 

Pick: Wisconsin +4.5 (-110)

College basketball parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed our Wisconsin vs. Michigan State picks, you could win $26.45 on a $10 bet?

Use our college basketball parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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