We’ve made it to the finals in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational Tournament, and it’s a heckuva matchup that should provide plenty of thrillers throughout. The Wisconsin Badgers will take on the undefeated Saint Mary’s Gaels at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, with the game featured on ESPN.
The Badgers already have one loss this season against Providence but have since bounced back to defeat Texas A&M and, most recently, Houston in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational.
Just like Wisconsin, Saint Mary’s has won two games of its own in the Invitational, with close wins against Notre Dame and Oregon. Here are our best free college basketball picks and predictions for the final game of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Saint Mary’s Gaels.
Wisconsin vs Saint Mary's odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
Wisconsin opened as a 1.5-point favorite but some outlets have switched to -1 at the time of writing. The total opened at 119.5 and has mostly stayed steady with a couple of outlets hanging at 120.5 if you’re looking to take an under.
Wisconsin vs Saint Mary's predictions
Predictions made on 11/24/2021 at 7:30 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Wisconsin vs Saint Mary's game info
• Location: Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas, NV
• Date: Wednesday, November 24, 2021
• Tip-off: 5:00 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN
Wisconsin at Saint Mary's betting preview
Wisconsin: Jahcobi Neath G (Questionable).
Saint Mary's: None Reported.
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.
Betting trend to know
Badgers are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games following an ATS win. Find more NCAA betting trends for Wisconsin vs. Saint Mary's.
Wisconsin vs Saint Mary's 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 hasn't really shot the ball well this season. The Badgers are shooting an effective field goal percentage of just 45.8 percent while only knocking down 29.2 percent from three and 47.2 percent inside. However, the one reason Wisconsin has been able to stick around and pull out close games has been its ability to limit turnovers (14 percent).
The offense is led by Johnny Davis, who has been an absolute stud in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational for Wisconsin, scoring 51 points in his last two games while playing an average of 37.5 minutes a night. Despite Davis' sterling performance in the tournament, he’s still only shooting 43.3 percent on the season. Let’s not lose sight of that.
Defensively, the Badgers have been rock solid, allowing a 43.7 percent effective field goal percentage this season while holding opponents to just 40.5 percent inside the arc. The defensive unit has allowed 32.4 percent from beyond the arc, though, which is an average number.
Saint Mary’s is shooting an effective field goal percentage of 53.8 percent, has knocked down 36.5 percent of threes and 53.1 percent of shots inside the arc. And while the Gaels dominate on the defensive glass, they haven’t been nearly as aggressive on the offensive side, holding opponents to just 18.2 percent offensive rebounds.
With Wisconsin shooting poorly from long range, there’s a good chance Saint Mary’s gets plenty of stops and keeps the Badgers to one-and-done. I’ll take the Gaels getting +1.5.
Prediction: Saint Mary's +1.5 (-110)
I know we’re talking about college students, and fatigue isn’t really an issue, but these two teams will now play their third straight game in this Invitational.
Legs start to get tired and shots start to hit the front rim. Let’s also not forget that both teams are in the top 15 when it comes to adjusted defensive efficiency.
Both defenses make opponents work for their buckets and while neither team will turn the ball over very often, I’m expecting a ton of one-and-done possessions. That’s how Saint Mary’s games go.
Prediction: Under 120.5 (-110)
It’s hard to give out best bets with Unders sitting around the 120 range between two offenses capable of scoring points. While I do love the Under, I also love Saint Mary’s.
The Gaels should be the better shooting team, and while Wisconsin has more depth, there’s a good chance that Saint Mary’s will have the better players on the floor for more portions of this game.
Give me Saint Mary’s +1.5 in this exciting matchup.
Pick: Saint Mary's +1.5 (-110)
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