College Basketball Picks: Wisconsin, Rutgers Clash in Big Ten Action

Jan 5, 2018

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While Friday’s basketball card is limited, Oskeim Sports has found two quality college basketball picks that should deliver the money.  One of Oskeim’s free college basketball picks involves the Big Ten Conference game between Wisconsin and Rutgers.

Rutgers’ success is predicated upon a suffocating defense that is allowing just 60.9 points per game on 37.6% shooting from the field to teams that would combine to average 71.6 points per game against a mediocre defense.

The Scarlet Knights are also 10-4 SU and 5-0 ATS at home this season where they are limiting opponents to a mere 57.4 points per game on 36.2% shooting from the field and 28.7% from beyond the arc.

Rutgers is currently ranked 9th in the nation in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense, and 31st in three-point field goal percentage defense (30.2).

Let’s also note that the Scarlet Knights are ranked 2nd-nationally in total rebounds, 3rd in offensive rebounds per game (15.31), 5th in total rebounds per game (43.5), 25th in total steals and 20th in turnover margin (+4.4).

Former Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell has injected life into a dormant basketball program, leading the Scarlet Knights to successful 2016-17 campaign in which they more than doubled their win total from the previous season, tripled their Big Ten Conference wins and won a conference tournament game for the first time.

Rutgers lost seven conference games by single digits after losing fifteen Big Ten games by double-digits in 2015-16. “Knight and Day” was the theme Pikiell brought to New Brunswick last season and the results on the court were better than anyone could have hoped for.

Junior guard Corey Sanders anchors a much-improved backcourt that welcomed extremely talented freshman in Geo Baker. Sanders leads the team in scoring with 13.2 points per game, while Baker leads the team in assists and is second in scoring with 11.9 points per game.

Senior Mike Williams completes a deep and talented backcourt that desperately needed an upgrade after finishing last in the Big Ten last season in field-goal percentage, three-point percentage and assist-to-turnover ratio.

“We’re going to be faster, we’re more athletic this year, and we’ve got more skills,” coach Pikiell stated over the summer. Rutgers’ frontcourt is led by senior DeShawn Freeman, who runs the court extremely well and leads the team in rebounds with 8.2 boards per game and is third in scoring with 11.6 points per game.

Eugene Omoruyi is the Scarlet Knights’ most improved player and had a tremendous summer where he developed his shooting and became more comfortable with Pikiell’s schemes.

Sophomore Issa Thiam is a small forward who can also play in the backcourt, providing Rutgers with much-needed depth and versatility. Thiam is having a breakout campaign, shooting 45.6% from the field and standing third on the team in rebounds with 4.8 per game.

Wisconsin is 1-4 SU and ATS on the road this season where it’s averaging just 58.2 points per game. Overall, the Badgers’ offense is 2.2 points per game worse than average (70.2 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 72.4 points per game to a mediocre attack).

Rutgers possesses a substantial advantage under the glass as the Badgers are averaging just 32 rebounds per game. Wisconsin is also dealing with injuries as guard D’Mitrik Trice, who is averaging 9.4 points per game, is out with a foot injury.

Fellow guard Kobe King, who was averaging 19:00 minutes and 5.2 points per game, is also sidelined with an injury. Finally, guard Brevin Pritzl, who is averaging 8.4 points per game, is questionable with concussion symptoms.

Finally, Wisconsin is a money-burning 3-9-2 ATS in its last 14 road games and 3-7-2 ATS in its last 12 games versus .501 or greater opposition, whereas the Scarlet Knights are a profitable 6-1 ATS in their last seven home affairs and 4-0 ATS in its last four home games versus teams with a losing road record.

With the home team standing at a perfect 4-0 ATS in this series, grab the points with Rutgers as one of Oskeim Sports’ College Basketball Picks for Friday and invest with confidence.

Oskeim Sports’ Free College Basketball Picks:

  • Rutgers (+3) (-120) over Wisconsin
  • William & Mary (+2) (-120) over Delaware