Northwestern vs Wisconsin Basketball Prediction & Picks: Wildcats seek season sweep of Badgers
After snapping a three-game losing streak with a big road win at Ohio State, Wisconsin looks to go back-to-back tonight as they host Northwestern (6:30 pm ET, BTN).
The Badgers (13-8, 5-6 Big Ten) lost six of their first eight games to start 2023, but they stepped it up in a big way on Thursday in a 65-60 win in Columbus.
Tonight, they will look to avenge a recent 66-63 loss at Northwestern (15-7, 6-5 Big Ten), who is looking to avoid a third straight loss after consecutive losses at Iowa and at home against Michigan.
Will the Badgers pick up a valuable home win over the Wildcats? Read on for our Northwestern vs Wisconsin basketball prediction, as well as our picks for tonight’s matchup in Madison.
Northwestern vs Wisconsin Odds
Odds are via FanDuel as of Sunday, February 5, 2023, at 3:25 pm ET. This article may also include odds from our other recommended legal sports betting sites.
- Northwestern +3.5 (-105)
- Wisconsin -3.5 (-115)
- Over 124.5 (-110)
- Under 124.5 (-110)
- Northwestern +150
- Wisconsin -182
No Sweat First Bet up to $1,000
Which Team Can Cobble Together Enough Offense to Win?
When the Wildcats edged the Badgers 66-63 in Evanston on January 23, neither team excelled offensively.
Wisconsin made ten three-pointers, which is the only time they have done so in Big Ten play to date. But those ten makes came from 31 attempts, as they shot 32.3% from three and 38.6% (22 of 57) from the field overall. To make matters worse, they made only 9 of 16 from the foul line.
Northwestern wasn’t much better, but they were significantly better than Wisconsin in a key area. The Wildcats shot 43.1% (22 of 51) from the field and 37.5% (6 of 16) from three, but they were 16 of 18 from the stripe, including 6 of 7 down the stretch to help secure the win.
For the season, the Badgers and Wildcats are two of the worst shooting teams in the Big Ten, so anyone expecting a wonderful display of offense might be better off tuning into one of the other games going on this evening.
Wisconsin ranks 12th in the conference in shooting percentage (41.8%), while Northwestern is dead last (40.5%).
The glaring issue for both teams is a lack of success on two-point shots.
Among power conference teams, there are only six potential NCAA Tournament teams who rank outside the top 200 in shooting percentage on two-point shots (Division I games only): Mississippi State (207th), Rutgers (238th), Arizona State (242nd), Michigan State (286th), Northwestern (310th), and Wisconsin (325th).
Northwestern vs Wisconsin Prediction and Picks
Northwestern vs Wisconsin Prediction: Northwestern to win
Northwestern vs Wisconsin Picks: Northwestern +3.5 (Best Value: FanDuel & BetMGM) & Boo Buie over 16.5 points (FanDuel)
The Wildcats have yet to lose three straight games this season, and other than last weekend’s 86-70 loss at Iowa, Northwestern has performed fairly well overall on the road, even in their losses.
They have already logged road wins over Michigan State and Indiana this season, so tonight’s venue isn’t going to be too much for them.
Wisconsin’s win at Ohio State on Thursday was certainly impressive, but since their hot start this season, the Badgers have struggled to string together multiple good performances, even with a healthy Tyler Wahl.
Northwestern has two 15+ PPG scorers in Boo Buie (16.2 PPG) and Chase Audige (15.5 PPG), who combined for 36 points in the first meeting between these two teams.
Northwestern is 6-2 in Big Ten play when Audige scores 15+ points, while Buie is averaging 21.0 PPG with four 20-point games in five road games in conference play. Buie has scored at least 17 points in each of his last six games, including his 20-point effort against the Badgers in Evanston.
If Buie and Audige can be productive again tonight, I like the Wildcats’ chances in this one. It won’t be pretty, but I’m backing the road team here.