Hoosiers vs. Badgers Betting Line

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Feb/03/2015
Hoosiers vs. Badgers Betting Line

Carrie Stroup here with your Hoosiers vs. Badgers betting line.  This game will get some pretty decent action this evening.

INDIANA HOOSIERS (16-6) at WISCONSIN BADGERS (19-2)

Sportsbook.ag Line: Wisconsin -15.5, Total:143.5 (place your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free)

In this top-25 clash of Big Ten powers, No.5 Wisconsin looks to continue their home dominance over No.22 Indiana.

Ever since the Badgers’ stunning loss at Rutgers three weeks ago, Wisconsin has gone back to looking like the class of the Big Ten, reeling off four straight wins (Nebraska, Iowa, at Michigan, at Iowa) to stand atop the conference standings at 7-1. Stumbling a bit on the road, Indiana (6-3, Big Ten) finds itself with a tall order if it wants to keep slipping down the conference standings: Win for just the second time in 15 tries on the Badgers home floor since 2000. You read that right: Wisconsin is 13-1 SU (10-7 ATS) versus Indiana over the past 14 years at the Kohl Center.

Indiana does own the Big Ten’s highest scoring offense (80.3 PPG, 14th NCAA), but unfortunately the offensive fireworks for the Hoosiers have taken a precipitous dip in conference play (down to 71.4 PPG), as Wisconsin’s steady, highly-efficient attack in conference play (73.6 PPG 1st Big 10; 1.27 Points/Possession, 1st in NCAA) doesn’t look to meet much resistance with the smallish Indiana defense (71.9 PPG allowed, last in Big Ten conference play). Indiana is struggling ATS recently (0-3) while Wisconsin is 2-1 ATS over that stretch. Even with two of the conference’s best offenses in play, Wisconsin’s tops-in-the-conference defense and slow pace (55.5 PPG allowed, 7th NCAAA; 60.9 possessions-per-game, 341st NCAA), combined with their penchant for hitting the under at home (64%) suggests this may be a lower scoring affair than current offensive numbers belie.

Indiana has some of the best perimeter firepower in the country, as they rely heavily on the long ball to supplement their offensive attack (8.9 threes/gm, 18th NCAA; 40.2% from three, 15th NCAA). Above all else, this is the Hoosier’s “puncher’s chance” against Wisconsin, as the Badger’s three-point field goal defense has been mediocre in conference play (37.6% threes against, 12th Big Ten, 241st NCAA). As Duke exposed, by ripping through Wisconsin’s defense to the tune of 65.2% from the field (58.3% from three) in December, the Badgers’ defense isn’t invincible at home.

Junior G Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell (16.1 PPG, 4.7 APG, 2.3 threes/gm) has been the centerpiece of the Hoosier attack now for two seasons. Ferrell struggled mightily to start conference play (7-for-32 FG in his first six Big 10 games), but has since done a complete 180, scorching the nets at a 55% clip (31-for-56 FG) including 16 made threes over his last four games. The reason Indiana is in the top-25, though, is that Ferrell has help this season, in the form of sensational freshman G James Blackmon Jr. (16.5 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.3 threes/gm).

In 2013 Ferrell led the Hoosiers in usage rate/possession (25.1%). This season, with less of the offensive burden, Ferrell is third on the team in usage, behind Blackmon and high-flying F Troy Williams – one of the most improved players in the country (13 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 57.5% FG). Indiana normally plays five perimeter players at a time, especially due to the injury of top defensive big man, F Hanner Mosquera-Perea. F Collin Hartman, who along with Williams goes 6-foot-7 and 215lbs, will be asked to supply defensive help for the Badgers’ star-studded frontcourt. While he’s been serviceable with the minutes bump in Mosquera-Perea’s absence (7.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.0 BPG) it’s still a matchup that Bo Ryan will definitely be looking to exploit. Blackmon Jr. isn’t the only freshman who contributes to the Hoosiers as G Robert Johnson (9.3 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.0 SPG) rounds out the starting five.

To score 73+ points per game on less than 60 possessions per game is just absurd, but that’s what Wisconsin does. If Wisconsin can keep their preferred pace (less than 60 possessions in six games straight) versus an Indiana team which hasn’t played a game below 60 possessions the entire season, it should make the Hoosiers incredibly uncomfortable.

At the fulcrum of Bo Ryan’s efficiency-machine is preseason All-American, do-it-all big man, C Frank Kaminsky (17.6 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 53.6% FG). Kaminsky is the current active leader in assists per-game (with G Traevon Jackson on the shelf - fractured foot), and also offers the versatility of averaging more than one steal (1.0), block (1.7) and three (1.3) made per game. Flanking Kaminsky on the front line are F Nigel Hayes (12.4 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 54% FG) and F Sam Dekker (12.6 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 52% FG).

G Josh Gasser has always been a minutes-eater that Bo Ryan can trust to play mistake-free basketball, but this season he’s turned into quite the three point specialist. Gasser doesn’t shoot much, but when he does – odds are he’ll be behind the arc: 85% (34 of 40) of Gasser’s conf. play shot attempts are threes. Beneath the headliners, though, Wisconsin’s most important player at this moment might be sophomore G Bronson Koenig (6.1 PPG, 2.1 APG). Leading the team in minutes-per-game (36.5) since the aforementioned Jackson’s injury, all Koenig has done since ascending to the starting job is win. His 11.3 PPG average, along with 2.5 makes from three (on 50% shooting) and 0.5 turnovers in his four starts shows that the Badgers are in good hands for as long as Jackson is out.  

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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