Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:30 AM EST.
5:30 PM EST. Most books have this line at +7 (-111 to -115) so we're going to sell a half point back and pay less juice.
The Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky aren't going to compete for an NCAA championship anytime soon, but that doesn't mean they can’t provide a test for the Badgers here as a fiesty mid-major. After all, it's not often that a Conference USA school gets the chance to dethrone a ranked Power Five opponent on their home floor in the middle of the season, especially around the holidays. Rick Stansbury, the Hilltoppers head coach, knows that a chance like this doesn't come around often, "There aren't many opportunities you get for one of the better teams in the country to come here and play. You know what's good about that? We're all going to show up believing that we have a chance." This is likely going to be the biggest game WKU plays this season and they are going to be a very dangerous host for a Badgers side that has to be shaking their heads at this scheduling spot.
After a down season in 2017-18, it appears the Badgers are back on track, as they are now the #16 team in the nation after ripping off five wins in their last six games. A 10-2 start is undoubtedly impressive, but Wisconsin has played one of the oddest non-conference schedules we have seen in a long time, as the six games they've played outside their home arena have been on neutral courts. Wisconsin's only true road game was a Big Ten showdown in Iowa. Before the Badgers head into the conference portion of their schedule, they'll take this detour to Bowling Green to battle Western Kentucky. Now if you think it's weird that a program like Wisconsin is traveling to WKU is a little odd, you'd be right, as this home-and-home deal between these two schools was signed years ago and included the football teams. Badgers coach Greg Gard sounded like his team needed this trip to the Bluegrass State like they need a hole in the head, "Would we probably in a perfect world schedule that? Probably not, just because we have so many other options at play." With the ranked Badgers ready to start Big Ten play against Minnesota next week, this one off could be a prime letdown spot if Gard's team takes on the opinion of their coach. The table is set for an upset, but we have no problem taking back these generous points.
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#635 WKU +6½ -101 (Risking 2.02 units - To Win: 2.00)