The Big Ten has seen better times on the hard-court, but the top team in the conference will be in action Thursday night (7 PM ET, ESPN) when the Wisconsin Badgers visit the Michigan Wolverines. The No. 11-ranked Badgers lead the way at 21-4 SU and 11-11 ATS; the Wolverines are in the middle of the pack at 16-9 SU and 9-13 ATS.
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Although Michigan has fallen to +20000 on the March Madness futures market, this program has some things going for them – especially on offense, where senior guard Derrick Walton (+9.6 BPM) is putting up 17.6 points and 4.4 assists per 40 minutes while hitting 44.2% of his 3-point attempts. Walton was 3-of-5 from behind the arc in last month’s 68-64 loss to Wisconsin (–11.5) at the Kohl Center.
The Badgers (+3300 to win March Madness) may be the best the Big Ten has to offer, but they’re 2-6 ATS in their last eight games, starting with that narrow victory over Michigan. They’re also coming off a 66-59 loss to the Northwestern Wildcats, once again coughing up the cash as 11.5-point home favorites. Shooting just 66.6% from the free-throw line hasn’t helped their cause.