Michigan State vs. Wisconsin Prediction, Odds and Key Players for Friday, Jan. 26 (Back the Badgers)

College basketball betting preview, prediction and best bets for Michigan State-Wisconsin.

Jan 19, 2024; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers forward Steven Crowl (22) scores against
Jan 19, 2024; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers forward Steven Crowl (22) scores against / Kayla Wolf-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State might be far removed from its top-5 preseason ranking, but the Spartans are rounding into form as most Tom Izzo-coached teams do as March approaches. Michigan State, which is sixth in the Big 10, has won three straight games after a 1-4 start to league play and will look for a marquee road conference victory as small underdogs Friday night in Madison against the No. 13 Badgers.

Wisconsin has won back-to-back games after surviving on the road against Minnesota (61-59) on Tuesday. Over their 14-2 stretch dating back to November, Wisconsin’s only losses were to then-No. 1 Arizona and Penn State in a close one (87-83) on the road. Will Wisconsin continue its home dominance on Friday?

Here’s a betting breakdown of Friday’s conference clash with a best bet. 

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Michigan State vs. Wisconsin odds, spread and total

Michigan State vs. Wisconsin betting trends

  • Michigan State is 10-8-1 ATS this season
  • Wisconsin is 10-8-1 ATS this season
  • Michigan State is 1-2-1 ATS as an underdog this season
  • Wisconsin is 6-6-1 ATS as a favorite this season
  • The OVER is 9-10 in Michigan State games this season
  • The OVER is 10-9 in Wisconsin games this season

Michigan State vs. Wisconsin how to watch

  • Date: Friday, Jan. 26
  • Game time: 8 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Kohl Center
  • How to watch (TV): FS1
  • Michigan State record: 12-7 (4-4 Big 10)
  • Wisconsin record: 15-4 (7-1 Big 10)

Michigan State vs. Wisconsin key players to watch

Michigan State

Tyson Walker: The fifth-year senior guard is in his third season in Izzo’s system and putting up career-highs. Walker is third in the Big 10 in scoring at 19.7 points per game and his 7.4 field goals per game trails only Zach Edey in the conference. Walker is also shooting 47.9% from the floor, which is No. 1 among Big 10 guards and fifth overall in the league. Walker doesn’t grab many rebounds, but he’s imperative to the Spartans’ defense in getting takeaways. He’s registered 8 steals in the last two games and had six against Penn State on Jan. 4. 


Steven Crowl: A deep Wisconsin lineup has had a different leading scorer in three consecutive games. Crowl had a 17-point, 11-rebound double-double in Wisconsin’s 87-83 loss to Penn State on Jan. 16. Crowl averages 11.7 points per game and is the Badgers’ leading rebounder at 7.5 boards per night. He had 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists in the win over Indiana on Jan. 19. Crowl’s had 3-plus assists in five of the last six games. 

Michigan State vs. Wisconsin prediction and pick

Wisconsin has been dominant at home, going 10-1 this season, and hasn’t dropped a game at the Kohl Center since losing to Tennessee on Nov. 10. 

The Badgers have the No. 6 offense, per KenPom, with impressive metrics across the board. Wisconsin boasts top-60 rankings in effective field goal and turnover percentage while shooting 36.1% from beyond the arc and 53.4% inside of it. Wisconsin’s stellar offense hasn’t come against sub-par teams, either. The Badgers have faced the No. 1 hardest schedule of opposing defenses, per KenPom. In the previous meeting between these two teams on Dec. 5 in East Lansing, Wisconsin shot 45.1% from the field and 43.5% from the perimeter in a 70-57 win.

On the boards, Wisconsin ranks No. 7 in offensive rebounding percentage and is No. 1 during conference play. That was a factor in the December meeting, when Wisconsin won the rebounding battle, 36-22. Michigan State’s offense is No. 33 in KenPom and faces a Wisconsin defense that is ranked No. 47 overall and is just No. 253 in effective field goal percentage. 

Wisconsin is most susceptible to the deep ball, and although Michigan State shoots triples at a 36.2% clip, they only fire 31.9% of its shots from the perimeter, which ranks No. 302 in the nation. Back the Badgers as a short home favorite in front of their home fans. 

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.