Wisconsin vs Iowa Odds and Picks


Luka Garza pressured by defender, looking to pass

Iowa center Luka Garza looks to pass around Nebraska forward Derrick Walker, right, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Iowa City, Iowa. Iowa won 102-64. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • No. 5 Iowa has won six of seven as they host Wisconsin in the regular-season finale for both
  • No. 25 Wisconsin has lost four of its last five games
  • Check the odds, analysis and betting predictions below

No. 5 Iowa (19-7, 13-6 Big Ten) will look to sweep the season series when it plays host to Wisconsin in the Big Ten regular-season finale for both at 12:30pm ET Sunday. It will be the final home game for Hawkeyes’ center Luka  Garza, who will likely be named national player of the year.

Wisconsin (16-10, 10-9) has lost its last seven games against ranked opponents, all in Big Ten play. The Badgers’ only victories over ranked teams this season came in December, when Louisville, Michigan State and Minnesota were briefly ranked.

Wisconsin vs Iowa Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Wisconsin Badgers +240 +6 (-110) Ov 144 (-110)
Iowa Hawkeyes -198 -6  (-110) Un 144 (-110)

Odds from FanDuel on March 6.

Iowa reached as high as No. 4 in the AP Top 25 earlier this season before slipping a little, but its No. 5 ranking now is its highest in the first week of March since it was No 5. on March 5, 1956. The Hawkeyes can lock up the No. 3 seed with a win.

Wisconsin is projected as a No. 6 or No. 7 seed in the NCAA tournament, and a victory over Iowa certainly would cement that. With a loss, the Badgers would be in jeopardy of dropping to the No. 7 seed in the Big tournament.

Luka Garza’s World

Iowa’s 6-foot-11 senior center Luka Garza  was among the 15 finalists named Saturday for the Wooden Award as the most outstanding player in the country, and it is inconceivable that he will not win this season after finishing second to Dayton’s Obi Toppin a year ago.

Garza is averaging 23.9 points per game, third in NCAA Division I and first among Power Six players, and is averaging 8.4 rebounds. He became the Hawkeyes’ career leading scorer in a Feb. 21 victory over Penn State.

He ranks No. 14 in scoring in Big Ten history with 2,180 points and is attempting to join Purdue’s Glenn Robinson and Michigan’s Henry Wilmore as the only Big Ten players to average 23 points and eight rebounds per game in two consecutive seasons.

Garza, also a finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, has a Division I-best seven of his 12 career 30-point games this season, one short of John Johnson’s school career record of 13. Garza also leads Division I with 15 games of least least 22 points.

2021 NCAA Men’s Tournament Championship Odds Tracker

Stepping Up When Necessary

Iowa has been at its best against a meaty schedule that has included non-conference games against Gonzaga and North Carolina, along with the Big Ten grind.

The Hawkeyes have won seven games against AP Top 25 opponents this season, tied with Kansas for the most in Division I, and they have won 14 games against ranked opponents the last two seasons, the most in Division I.

Garza has scored 571 points against AP Top 25 teams, the most of any player since the start of the 2019-20 season.

Wisconsin’s Recent Struggles

The Badgers were ranked No. 4 in the Ap Top 25 after winning their first two games of the season and later picked up quality non-conference victories over Loyola-Chicago and Louisville, but they have not been able to sustain that momentum.

Wisconsin has lost four of its last five games and five of its last seven, and it has not beaten a conference opponent with a current winning record all season. Arguably its best wins since beating Michigan State on Christmas Day have been at Rutgers on Jan. 15 and at Maryland on Jan. 27.

The Badgers had trouble guarding the post in its most recent loss, 73-69 at Purdue on Tuesday, when 7-foot-4 freshman Zach Edey had a career-high 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting.

Garza had 30 points, eight rebounds and two assists in Iowa’s 77-62 victory over Wisconsin in the first game of the season series. Garza made 11-of-19 field goal attempts and 4-of-6 3-pointers and the Hawkeyes shot 51.% from the field. The Badgers shot 30%.

Iowa Helps Itself

Senior guard Jordan Bohannon became the Hawkeyes’ career assist leader with 617 when he had five in a 73-57 victory over Ohio State last Sunday. His steady backcourt play helped the Hawkeyes rank No. 1 with a 2.04:1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

The Hawkeyes are averaging 9.5 turnovers per game, third in Division I, and they are on pace to break the school record for fewest turnovers per game, 10.3.

Always ranked in the top five in KenPom in offensive efficiency margin this season, Iowa has crept up to No. 58 in adjusted defensive efficiency, its best ranking during the Garza-Bohannon years.

Iowa is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games, and it is the play. As Damon Runyon said, “the race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.”

The pick: Iowa -6 (-110)

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Jack Magruder

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