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Penn State vs. Wisconsin College Basketball Pick & Odds: January 3rd 2013

January 3rd, 2013

Penn State vs. Wisconsin
College Basketball Pick: January 3rd 2013
Prediction: Wisconsin -18 -110 odds

I successfully backed a large favorite in Big Ten play yesterday. My ticket was on Ohio State over what I felt would be an over-matched Nebraska squad. Laying three touchdowns, the Buckeyes cruised to a 70-44 victory.

This matchup may not be quite as much of a mismatch but I expect the end result to be similar.

Penn State comes in on a roll, playing quite well in non-conference action. Don’t be fooled by the record though. Conference play will represent a big step up in class. The Nittany Lions were just 4-15 in Big Ten play last season. Eleven of their 15 losses came by double-digits.

This year’s team lost some key components from last season. Making matters worse, Tommy Frazier, arguably the most important member of the Nittany Lions’ backcourt, is out for the season, he’s been out since mid-November. (Frazier, now a senior, averaged 18.8 points with 6.2 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game last season.)

The number may look generous at first glance. Consider that the Nittany Lions are only 6-13 ATS (0-19 SU) the last 19 times that they were road underdogs in the 15.5 to 18 range. Needless to say, this hasn’t been a favorable role for them in recent seasons.

Wisconsin snapped an ATS skid last time out, earning a decisive 87-51 victory. Long known for being “stingy,” in recent seasons, the Badgers have shown a tendency to play well off a strong defensive effort like that. They’re 32-16 ATS their last 48 lined games, after holding their previous opponent to 60 or less.

The Badgers have long dominated the Lions here. With the support of a lively home crowd behind them, they should give them a taste of reality tonight. Consider laying the points.