College Basketball Odds & Preview — Northwestern Wildcats at Michigan Wolverines
The Michigan Wolverines recently fought tooth-and-nail with the top team in the Big Ten, and proved that on any given night, they can play with anybody. On Monday night they hope they don’t have a letdown as they play host to the Northwestern Wildcats in a game that begins at 7 PM ET at the Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor. Remember that if you are a BetAnySports customer, you have the ability to place wagers while the game is in progress, utilizing the state-of-the-art software from Live Betting Ultra.
The Purdue Boilermakers, who are ranked #3 in the country and may just be better than anybody, had a shooting feast against Michigan on Thursday night, hitting 67% (20 of 30) from two-point range and 11-20 (55%) from beyond the arc, yet they only came away with a 92-88 home victory, which coupled with a one-point loss by the Maize and Blue in West Lafayette, constituted two very close shaves for Matt Painter’s team. Michigan was also very hot from the field, going 63% inside the arc and 56.5% outside of it.
Meaningful wins have been hard to come by for Northwestern, although there has been an encouraging sign sent by back-to-back victories over Penn State and Minnesota. They’ve also lost by five points to both Ohio State and Purdue, and four points to Creighton. They look to move the ball around a lot on offense, but they’ve hot only 35% of their three-pointers, which leaves them outside the top 150 in the country in that department.
Michigan is 17-6 straight-up (13-9 ATS) and was ranked 25th in the country in both major polls when they were last taken. Northwestern is 13-9 straight-up and 8-11 against the college basketball pointspread.
The Wildcats have been stopped pretty cold from beyond the arc lately; they have, in fact, shot below 30% in each of their last four games and six of their last nine.
BetAnySports patrons may have noticed that this might be the best defensive team John Beilein has had in eleven seasons at the helm in Ann Arbor, ranking 30th nationwide in efficiency, although interestingly enough, their weakness might be dealing with the three-point shot shot, a category in which they are just 275th in the country. The one thing they are very likely to do is take away second-shot opportunities, for the most part, as they pull down 76.5% of available defensive rebounds.
And the ‘Cats are going to have nightmares on defense dealing with the developing Mo Wagner, a 6-11 forward who not only can do some work in the paint but also has the ability to step back and hit the long ball (41% from three-point range). There is not a lot of size in Collins’ rotation, and this will be a challenge.
Northwestern is 317th in Adjusted Tempo in the NCAA statistical rankings as compiled at KenPom.com, and that means they are not averse to playing at the pace Michigan likes to employ. Of course, that works the other way around as well; Chris Collins’ team is not going to do much that throws the Wolverines off balance. This could be the critical difference for a Michigan team that is capable of winning this by 15 points or more, although again, they have to guard against a letdown from that big effort against Purdue.
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