NCAA Basketball Wednesday Betting Preview: Back Wisconsin and Houston as Heavy Favorites

SI Gambling analyst Roy Larking focuses on Big Ten and American Athletic Conference key matchups for his Wednesday college basketball betting card.
Author:
Publish date:

Northwestern at No. 10 Wisconsin

Northwestern is looking to a snap a five-game losing streak when they visit Wisconsin for a Big Ten Conference clash on Wednesday. Tipoff is slated for 8:00 p.m. ET at the Kohl Center arena in Madison, Wis. The Badgers have won four straight against the Wildcats and this is the first of two meetings this season. These longtime rivals played once last year and Wisconsin posted a 63–48 win at home. The Badgers are listed as a double-digit favorite at DraftKings.

Wisconsin (11–3, 5–2 Big Ten) is back at home following a 60-54 victory on the road over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on January 15. Defense led the way as the Badgers offense shot just 19 of 54 from the field and was 6 of 25 from three-point range. Wisconsin needed a rebound win after they were crushed 77–54 by the Wolverines on the road in Michigan on January 12. The Badgers have won two straight at home and are 9–1 at the Kohl Center this season.

Northwestern (6–6, 3–5 Big Ten) is on the road following a 96–73 loss at home to No. 5 Iowa on January 17. Facing a tough schedule, the Wildcats are playing a seventh straight game against an AP top 25 ranked team. Northwestern hasn’t posted a victory since they upset No. 23 Ohio State 71–70 at home on December 26, 2020. Struggling at both ends of the court, the Wildcats have been outscored by a 430-338 combined count during their five-game losing streak.

Defense leads the way for Wisconsin as the Badgers have allowed just 62.1 points per game while scoring 73.7 ppg on offense. Northwestern has posted decent numbers on offense, averaging 77.9 ppg, but that is offset by the Wildcats weak defense that’s allowing 72.2 ppg. With a 10-point loss to the Buckeyes as the lone exception, Northwestern has lost four of their last five games by 15 points or more. Bet on that trend continuing in this contest and back Wisconsin to cover. 

Pick: Wisconsin Badgers -10.5 (-110) ATS at DraftKings

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 8:00 p.m. ET

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 8:00 p.m. ET

Bet on College Basketball All Season at DraftKings

Tulsa at No. 8 Houston

Meeting for the second this season, Tulsa visits No. 8 Houston in American Athletic Conference action on Wednesday. Game time is 8:00 p.m. ET at the Fertitta Center in Houston, Texas. These teams met in Tulsa on December 29, 2020, and the Golden Hurricane defeated Houston 65–64 as 8-point underdogs. Both teams are running hot as the Cougars are riding a four-game winning streak while the Golden Hurricane have won seven of their last eight games.

Houston (11–1, 6–1 AAC) is playing a fourth straight home game. They enter this contest following an impressive 75–58 win over the UCF Knights on January 17. The Cougars were up 45–19 at halftime and hung on to cover as a 14-point favorite. Houston is led by one of the top guard pairings in the country. Quentin Grimes is averaging 17.8 points per game and Marcus Sasser is scoring 15.5 ppg. The Cougars have won 18 straight games at the Fertitta Center.

Tulsa (8–4, 5–2 AAC) is on the road following a 58–57 win at home over Memphis on January 17. The Golden Hurricane outscored the Tigers 32–25 in the second half to win outright as 2.5-point underdogs. The victory was a nice rebound after Tulsa lost 72–53 on the road to Wichita State on January 13. Prior to that, the Golden Hurricane defeated South Florida 61–51 and Cincinnati 70–66 on the road. Tulsa hasn’t defeated Houston twice in the same season since 2014–15.

Both teams play strong defense as Houston leads the AAC allowing 56.5 points per game while Tulsa is second at 60.9 ppg. Houston also has an edge on offense as the Cougars are averaging 73.3 ppg while the Golden Hurricane are scoring 67.8 ppg. Tulsa defeated Houston 63–61 at home last year and then got crushed 76­–43 in rematch in Houston. The huge point spread on this game looks like a trap to attract Tulsa wagers. Bet on Houston to cover the spread at home.

Pick: Houston Cougars -12 (-110) ATS at DraftKings

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 8:00 p.m. ET

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 8:00 p.m. ET

2020-21 NCAA Basketball Betting Record: 11-5 ATS

MORE FROM SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

NCAA Men’s Basketball Top 25 Rankings

College Basketball Tiers: Mid-Season Top 45 Teams

AAC Midseason Check-in: Can Anyone Chase Down Houston?