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Wildcats vs. Badgers Betting Odds

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Mar/28/2015
Wildcats vs. Badgers Betting Odds

Carrie Stroup here with your Wildcats vs. Badgers betting odds.

ARIZONA WILDCATS (34-3) vs. WISCONSIN BADGERS (34-3)

NCAA Tournament – Elite Eight

Sportsbook.ag Line: Arizona -1.5, Total: 132

Two of the hottest teams in college basketball fight for a spot in the Final Four when Arizona takes on Wisconsin Saturday.

Arizona comes into this game after defeating Xavier 68-60 as an 11.5-point favorite in the Sweet 16. The Wildcats have won 14 straight games and have not allowed more than 72 points in a single game since losing to Arizona State on Feb. 7. They are also 7-3 ATS in their past 10 contests.

Wisconsin beat North Carolina 79-72 as a 6-point favorite in the Sweet 16. The Badgers have scored 72+ points in each of the past four games and have covered in six of their past nine games. These teams met in the Elite Eight last year and Wisconsin beat Arizona 64-63 as a 3.5-point underdog.

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These teams have met four times since 1997 and the Badgers are 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS in those contests. Arizona is 16-5 ATS when playing only its second game in a week this season and 8-1 ATS after failing to cover the spread in two of its past three games this season as well. Wisconsin is 22-10 ATS in non-conference games over the past two seasons. Both teams are 9-0 SU when playing on a neutral court this season and both will also come into this game at full strength.

Arizona has been one of the best two-way teams in the nation this season, averaging 76.4 PPG (22nd in NCAA) on 48.9% shooting (6th in NCAA) and allowing just 59.0 PPG (14th in NCAA) thanks in part to 7.2 SPG (69th in NCAA). C Kaleb Tarczewski (9.2 PPG, 5.3 RPG) had 12 points and four rebounds when the Wildcats faced Wisconsin a year ago, but he struggled on Frank Kaminsky. He must find a way to slow down one of the country’s best players on Saturday.

F Stanley Johnson (14.0 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.5 SPG) has been a bright spot all year for Arizona, but he is just 5-for-22 in the past two games and needs to turn it around. He’s strong, athletic and knows how to score, so he could be a matchup problem if he is hitting his shots in this one.

F Brandon Ashley (12.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG) didn’t play in the Elite Eight a year ago. He got hurt before the tournament and will definitely come out and play with a ton of heart in this game. Ashley must play good defense and add some scoring when Wisconsin clamps down defensively.

G T.J. McConnell (10.3 PPG, 6.3 APG, 3.9 RPG, 2.2 SPG) is averaging 18.0 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 5.5 APG and 3.0 SPG over the past two contests. He struggled against the Badgers last year though, with just nine points (2-for-10 FG) in an inefficient shooting game. F Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (11.1 PPG, 6.8 RP, 1.2 SPG) had 10 points and four boards in 31 minutes against Wisconsin last year. He did tweak his knee last game and will need to be playing at full strength in this one to really be effective.

Wisconsin has had one of the most efficient offenses in the nation this season, averaging 71.9 PPG (67th in NCAA) on 48.0% shooting (21st in NCAA). The team is also solid defensively, allowing just 57.2 PPG (10th in NCAA). C Frank Kaminsky (18.4 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.5 BPG) is the guy that makes this team go. He is one of the best players in college basketball and Arizona witnessed his greatness a year ago. Kaminsky had 28 points and 11 rebounds against the Wildcats last year and will need to find some of that same success on Saturday.

F Sam Dekker (13.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG) is another tough player to guard in this Wisconsin frontcourt. Dekker can score in a number of ways and is very athletic. He lit up North Carolina last round with 23 points and 10 rebounds.

G Bronson Koenig (8.6 PPG, 2.4 APG) is going to have his work cut out for him in this game. Koenig will need to guard McConnell, so he must be disciplined defensively. He had nine points and four assists against North Carolina before fouling out in 23 minutes. He can’t afford to be in foul trouble in this one or the Wildcats just might get their revenge on the Badgers.

F Nigel Hayes (12.5 PPG, 6.4 RPG) is going to be the x-factor in this game. He has been struggling in the tournament so far, going 7-for-20 in the past two games and 1-for-9 from the outside as well. Hayes is a handful to guard in the paint and can also step out and knock down threes (38% 3PT). If he can get it going offensively then the Badgers will be very tough to beat.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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