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Iowa vs Wisconsin – 3/7/19 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Predictions

Iowa Hawkeyes vs Wisconsin Badgers College Basketball Thursday Mar 7, 2019 (7:00pm est) Current Odds: Wisconsin -6.5, Total Points 140.5

Iowa Hawkeyes Betting Trends:

Iowa is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Iowa’s last 7 games
Iowa is 5-14-1 ATS in its last 20 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Iowa’s last 5 games on the road

Wisconsin Badgers Betting Trends:

The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Wisconsin’s last 13 games
Wisconsin is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Iowa
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Wisconsin’s last 6 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Wisconsin’s last 12 games when playing Iowa

Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird, Danny Ferry, Stacey Augmon and Ethan Happ.

Ethan Happ?

Yep, Ethan Happ. Which is why Wisconsin will have a 6-foot-10-sized hole to fill in the middle next season.

The fifth player in NCAA history to accumulate 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 400 assists will play the final home game of a sterling college career Thursday night when the No. 21 Badgers host Iowa in a Big 10 game at Kohl Center in Madison.

Happ may not be the quickest player or the best leaper. His foul shooting might remind one more of Shaquille O’Neal than another Wisconsin great of recent vintage, Frank Kaminsky. But if you want a big man to score, rebound, pass and defend in concert, look no further.

This year, Happ is averaging 17.8 points, 10.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. He cans 53.8 percent of his field-goal attempts and shreds double-teams with his ability to find cutting teammates. His footwork is as exquisite as Kevin McHale’s. Simply put, if Tom Emanski did instructional videos on post play, Happ might be the guy he’d feature.

“Everybody always talks about him being ambidextrous,” Badgers coach Greg Gard told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “With that, you think right and left hand. But his footwork is still very good with both feet. He’s very comfortable pivoting with either foot. That’s what makes him harder to guard.”

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A typical Wisconsin possession ends up with Happ catching the ball in the low post and surveying his options. Turn and shoot? Reverse the ball to an open teammate? Wait and draw a double-team, then slip a clever interior pass to someone at the rack?

Invariably, Happ makes the proper decision, and the Badgers’ slow-paced half-court offense thrives.

“You can’t stop moving on him because he’s going to keep pivoting, shot-faking and everything like that to get his open shots,” Iowa center Luka Garza said. “He’s not really a shooter, but he’s able to create for himself and his teammates.”

Garza and his teammates haven’t been creating as much lately as they were a few weeks ago. Iowa (21-8, 10-8) averages 79.7 points per game, but in losing three of the last four, it’s averaging only 70.8. It went more than 10 minutes without a field goal in one stretch of Saturday’s 86-72 home loss to Rutgers.

The Hawkeyes have made only 39.4 percent from the field in that stretch, and converted just 29.3 percent of their 3-point tries.

“We’re taking good shots, and the right people are shooting them,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “You have to make sure you’re shooting open shots and not contested shots. If you’re shooting contested 3s, you’re not going to make them.”

McCaffery will sit out the second game of his two-game suspension levied by Hawkeyes athletic director Gary Barta for a profanity-laced tirade at a referee following a 90-70 loss Feb. 26 at Ohio State. Assistant coach Kirk Speraw will run the team at Wisconsin.

The Badgers (20-9, 12-6) can earn a double-bye in the Big Ten tourney by winning their last two games. A double-bye would permit them to sit out until the quarterfinals on March 15.

Today’s Free Pick: Iowa +11.5/Under 145.5 (5pt Teaser -130)

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