Both the Wisconsin Badgers and Michigan State Spartans have designs on winning the Big Ten championship and making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament and one team will advance those efforts, while the other experiences a setback during the Christmas Day 2020 college basketball schedule. The Spartans are hosting the Badgers at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center on Friday for a 12:30 p.m. ET tip-off. Wisconsin is 7-1 on the season and ranked ninth in the AP Top 25, while Michigan State is 6-1 and enters Christmas ranked 12th.
Michigan State has won eight of the last 10 matchups head-to-head, but the programs have split those 10 meetings against the spread. This time around, the Badgers are 1.5-point road favorites, with the over-under for total points listed at 140 in the latest Wisconsin vs. Michigan State odds from William Hill Sportsbook. Before making any Michigan State vs. Wisconsin picks, check out the college basketball predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of almost $2,600 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. It's off to a profitable start in the 2020-21 season, going 12-9 on all its top-rated picks and returning almost $300. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Wisconsin vs. Michigan State spread: Wisconsin -1.5
- Wisconsin vs. Michigan State over-under: 140 points
- WISC: The Badgers have covered in four of their last six games
- MICHST: The Spartans have covered in four of their last five against Wisconsin
Why Wisconsin can cover
Now in his fifth season at the helm after Bo Ryan retired, Greg Gard has Wisconsin off to a strong start and the Badgers began conference play on Tuesday with a decisive 67-53 win over Nebraska. Brad Davison had 15 points and seven assists in the victory and the Wisconsin defense limited the Cornhuskers to just 33.3 percent shooting from the floor.
Wisconsin ranks 14th in Division 1 this year so far in opponents' field goal percentage (36.2) and they'll hope that their stifling defense causes issues for Michigan State on Christmas Day. Meanwhile, the Badgers will hope that they can get back on track from the outside offensively. Wisconsin shot 30.8 percent from the 3-point line against Nebraska but had gone 26-of-43 from deep in their previous two games.
Why Michigan State can cover
The Spartans opened their season with six consecutive victories that included wins over Notre Dame and Duke, but Michigan State dropped its conference opener against Northwestern on Sunday. Aaron Henry led the team with just 11 points as the Northwestern defense rankled Michigan State into shooting just 8-for-31 from the 3-point line.
However, the Spartans do a tremendous job of sharing the basketball and their ability to move the ball quickly on the perimeter will be key against a good Wisconsin defense. Michigan State ranks second in the nation in assists per game (22.4) and they've assisted on a whopping 73.7 percent of their made field goals this year.
How to make Wisconsin vs. Michigan State picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, with just 10 players projected to score more than seven points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Wisconsin vs. Michigan State? And which side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Michigan State vs. Wisconsin spread you need to jump on, all from the advanced computer model that has crushed its college basketball picks, and find out.