- The Indiana Hoosiers (7-4) take on the eighth-ranked Wisconsin Badgers (9-2) at the Kohl Center at 7:00 pm ET on January 7th
- Both teams are coming off wins against conference opponents in their last game
- See the odds, spread, analysis, and best bet, below
The Wisconsin Badgers will play their first game of 2021 when they host the Indiana Hoosiers on Thursday night. The Badgers would have played for the first time in the new year on Sunday but their game Penn State was postponed due to Covid-19 concerns. The Hoosiers will be hungry for their third straight win after beating Maryland 63-55 on Monday.
The Badgers have dominated the Hoosiers recently winning six of the last seven meetings dating back to 2016. The current odds show Wisconsin as a 7 point favorite in this matchup.
Indiana vs Wisconsin Odds
|Indiana Hoosiers||+7 (-110)||+290||Over 128.5 (-115)|
|Wisconsin Badgers||-7 (-110)||-360||Under 128.5 (-105)|
Odds as of January 6th at FanDuel.
Indiana Is a Good Team
Indiana may not be ranked in the AP Top 25 Poll but they are far from a bad team. In fact, KenPom has them as the 22nd best team in the country at the moment.
So far this season the Hoosiers are giving up 64.5 points per game which is good for 63rd in the nation. They are 10th in defensive efficiency which was on full display last game when they held a very good Maryland team to 55 points.
• No flinching
• TJD’s flip
• Taking victory
Recap, highlights + quotes.
— Indiana Basketball (@IndianaMBB) January 5, 2021
The game did not start well for Indiana as they were down six points at halftime. Maryland couldn’t get much going on offense but neither could the Hoosiers only scoring 21 in the opening half. The 21 point first half was the lowest scoring first half since they could only muster 19 against Texas way back on December 1st.
The second half was a much different story. Indiana doubled their first half production pulling away from Maryland in the process. The Hoosiers held the Terrapins to 38% from the floor which was the difference in the game. Trayce Jackson-Davis led the way for Indiana going for 22 points and 15 rebounds.
Wisconsin Plays Defense Too
The Badgers will finally take the court after postponing their first game of 2021 against Penn State due to Covid-19 concerns. The last time they laced up their sneakers they beat the breaks off of Big Ten foe Minnesota 71-59. The Badgers used their number six ranked defense to counter the Gophers’ high-flying offense. The win catapulted Wisconsin into the AP Top 10.
New year. New ranking this week.
Badgers check in at No. 8#OnWisconsin pic.twitter.com/6p0SVXICW8
— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) January 4, 2021
Only twelve teams in the country hold opponents to fewer points per game than Wisconsin. Minnesota came into this game averaging 81.6 points per contest which is good for 26th in the county. They learned quickly that baskets are hard to come by in Wisconsin on scoring 22 points in the first half. The Golden Gophers could only muster 31% from the floor in the losing effort.
Best Betting Angle
It’s hard to imagine Indiana being able to produce the type of offense they will need to pull off the road upset. The Hoosiers defense has been great but their offense has been less than stellar. So far this season they rank 57th in the offensive efficiency metric even though they shoot a respectable 45.8% from the floor.
Nobody has been able to score consistently on Wisconsin this season but their offense may end up being the key to this game. They are 43rd in effective field goal percentage in the nation which is a big reason their offense is eighth in efficiency. They are 18th in turnovers per offensive play which makes things even more difficult for opponents.
The Hoosiers have only played one other team this season that ranks inside the top 14 in offensive efficiency and defensive efficiency and that was Texas. They were beaten thoroughly in that one 66-44. Bettors can expect the same type of result in this game.
Pick: Wisconsin -7 (-110)