Top College Basketball Picks for Friday, January 15th, 2021

Top College Basketball Picks for Friday, January 15th, 2021
Thu 14th January 2021

Wisconsin vs Rutgers 

The #9 Wisconsin Badgers are 10-3 on the season and 4-2 in the conference play following a heavy 77-54 defeat at #7 Michigan Wolverines this past Tuesday. They failed to score a single point over the last seven minutes of the first half while tallying just three points through the first seven and a half minutes of the second half!  

That was a historically horrible display by the Badgers who trailed by as many as 40 points. They shot only 30.8% from the field and 32.1% from beyond the arc while allowing the Wolverines to make nine triples out of just 16 attempts. 

On the other side, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights are riding a three-game losing streak following a 79-68 defeat to Ohio State last Saturday. They also lost to #10 Iowa 77-75 while suffering a heavy 68-45 defeat at Michigan State. 

The Scarlet Knights fell off the AP Top 25 Poll, winning just one of their previous five contests overall. They are 7-4 on the season and 3-4 in the Big Ten Conference play, and the Knights currently sit at the 48th spot of the NCAA NET Rankings, way behind the No. 15 Wisconsin Badgers. 

Both Wisconsin and Rutgers desperately need to bounce back from their recent disappointing losses, and we think the visitors have a better chance to complete the task. The Badgers have the eighth-best defensive rating in the country, allowing just 89.9 points per 100 possessions, while their offense cannot have another dreadful day in the office. 

Wisconsin scores 114.0 points per 100 possessions (11th in the country), making 40.5% of their 3-pointers (10th). They play at a very slow pace of 64.9 possessions per 40 minutes (333rd) while committing only 8.3 turnovers per game which are the 15th-fewest in the nation. 

Rutgers rank 47th in offensive efficiency (110.3) and 41st in defensive efficiency (93.3), averaging 69.2 possessions per 40 minutes (171st). The Scarlet Knights make 46.9% of their field goals (72nd) and 37.1% from beyond the 3-point line (59th), but they shoot a terrible 58.0% from the free-throw line (339th). 

This should be a hard-fought battle, and free throws can make all the difference down the stretch. Also, Rutgers has struggled a lot defensively in seven games against the Big Ten Conference, allowing 75.4 points per contest on 46.8% shooting from the field.  

Last season, Wisconsin beat Rutgers 79-71 as 5.5-point home favorites. The Badgers are 7-3 SU and 4-6 ATS in their last ten encounters with the Scarlet Knights. Wisconsin is 2-4 ATS in its last six games and only 0-6-1 ATS in its previous seven games played in January, but the Badgers went 4-1 SU and ATS through their last four showings as favorites or two or fewer points. 

College basketball pick – Wisconsin by 2.

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