Michigan State vs. Wisconsin odds, line: 2019 Big Ten Tournament picks, predictions from expert on 45-29 run

Bitter rivals square off Saturday at 1 p.m. ET when the Michigan State Spartans and Wisconsin Badgers battle in the 2019 Big Ten Tournament semifinals. The Spartans are 8-1 in their last nine games, which includes an eight-point road victory over the Badgers. Meanwhile, Wisconsin enters Saturday's semifinal having won four consecutive games. The Badgers will come out fighting, hoping to knock off the No. 1-seed Spartans to advance to the Big Ten Tournament championship game. However, Michigan State also has a lot to play for as the Spartans are trying to strengthen their case for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Oddsmakers list Michigan State as a 5.5-point favorite, with the over-under for total points set at 128.5 in the latest Michigan State vs. Wisconsin odds. Before you make any Michigan State vs. Wisconsin picks or 2019 Big Ten Tournament predictions, see what SportsLine senior analyst Josh Nagel has to say.

A Nevada-based expert and winner of multiple handicapping contests with more than 20 years of experience in the sports wagering industry, Nagel specializes in picking college athletics. He enters the weekend with a sparkling 45-29 record in against-the-spread college basketball picks for SportsLine members. Anyone who has followed him is way up.

Now Nagel has locked in on Michigan State vs. Wisconsin, and entered a strong against-the-spread pick that you can only see at SportsLine.

For Saturday, Nagel has taken into account that Michigan State has won eight of its last nine games, which includes a dominant 67-59 victory over Wisconsin on the road. The Spartans were led by Cassius Winston, who recorded 23 points, six assists and six rebounds against the Badgers.

In order for the Spartans to advance to the Big Ten title game, they'll need another huge performance from Winston. His play on both ends has helped the Spartans get back on track after losing three straight Big Ten contests earlier this season. Michigan State's defense has been impressive overall during that span, holding its opponents to 63 points or less in six of their past nine games, and if the Spartans can hold the Badgers to another low number on Saturday, they'll have a great chance to get the win and cover at the United Center.

But just because Winston and the Spartans are playing well on both sides of the court doesn't mean they'll cover the Michigan State vs. Wisconsin spread in the 2019 Big Ten Tournament semifinals on Saturday. 

For the Badgers to pull off the upset against Michigan State on Saturday, they'll need a big game from senior Ethan Happ. The 6-foot-10 forward leads the team in points (17.8), rebounds (10.4), assists (4.7) and steals (1.1). He's a one-man wrecking crew for the Badgers, having recorded 21 double-doubles this season.

The Badgers boast a 14-7 record when Happ collects a double-double, but he'll need help from his teammates if Wisconsin wants a shot at winning its first Big Ten title since 2015. In Friday's four-point victory over Nebraska, sophomore forward Nate Reuvers had one of his best performances of the season, racking up 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting. If Reuvers and his teammates can make Michigan State's defense stay honest, the Badgers will have a great shot at pulling off the upset.

We can tell you Nagel is leaning toward the under, but his much stronger play is on the spread. He has identified a critical x-factor that causes one side of the spread to hit hard. He's only sharing what it is, and who to back, at SportsLine.

Who wins Wisconsin vs. Michigan State? And which critical x-factor makes one side of the spread hit hard? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Wisconsin vs. Michigan State spread you should be all over, all from a senior analyst who has crushed his recent college basketball picks against the spread.

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