The Wisconsin Badgers take on the Iowa Hawkeyes. Check out our college basketball odds series for our Wisconsin Iowa prediction and pick.

The Iowa Hawkeyes showed that even if Kris Murray can’t play, they can function well as a team. They were without Murray, their elite scorer and the straw which stirs the drink for them at the offensive end of the floor, against Iowa State on Thursday. Iowa State has its flaws, but one of them is not defense. ISU figured to be a very difficult team to beat, but Iowa made it look relatively easy in a 75-56 win over the Cyclones. The Hawkeyes limited Iowa State to under 14-percent shooting on 3-pointers. They forced 15 Iowa State turnovers. Iowa controlled the game from start to finish and made a very big statement about the team it has beyond Kris Murray. Iowa has usually needed one key cog, one big offensive centerpiece, to function well in recent years. Iowa without Luka Garza in 2021 would not have been much of a team. Iowa without Keegan Murray in 2022 would not have been much of a team. Iowa seemed to be a group which needed Kris Murray in order to be successful, but this game against Iowa State showed otherwise. It’s a very encouraging development for an Iowa team which was easily handled by Duke a few days earlier in New York at the Jimmy V Classic, and which lost by 13 points to TCU in late November. Iowa can now take the court with a lot more confidence after that brilliant display against Iowa State.

Wisconsin has carved out a reputation as being the heart-attack team of the early portion of the college basketball season. Wisconsin’s last six games have all been decided by five points or fewer. The Badgers did beat Maryland in their most recent game. Before that, they beat Marquette in overtime, lost by three to Wake Forest, beat USC by five, lost to Kansas in overtime on a buzzer-beater, and beat Dayton by one point. They just don’t know how to play lopsided games. Every Wisconsin game is close, for better or worse. The Wisconsin offense is dependent on the play of Chucky Hepburn. When he plays well, this team is very strong and really hard to beat. When Hepburn struggles, Wisconsin loses a lot of its upside. Wisconsin will try to defend Iowa vigorously, take advantage of Kris Murray’s absence, and hope it can bring enough offense to the table in Iowa City.

Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Wisconsin-Iowa College Basketball odds.

College Basketball Odds: Wisconsin-Iowa Odds

Wisconsin Badgers: +4.5 (-115)

Iowa Hawkeyes: -4.5 (-105)

Over: 135.5 (-110)

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Under: 135.5 (-110)

Why Wisconsin Could Cover the Spread

Wisconsin, which just held Maryland to 59 points this past week, has a defense which can keep the Hawkeyes contained. Iowa has less margin for error since Kris Murray isn’t playing.

Why Iowa Could Cover the Spread

The Hawkeyes are playing at home. Kris Murray won’t play, but Iowa showed against Iowa State that it can do well even with Murray out of the lineup. That game will be huge for this team’s confidence. Carver-Hawkeye Arena will buzzing, and Iowa will benefit from it.

Final Wisconsin-Iowa Prediction & Pick

Wisconsin’s defense will be able to have answers for a Kris Murray-less Iowa roster. The Badgers play a lot of games decided by five points or fewer. That is an obvious fact to bring into any discussion of a pick here. Take the Badgers.

Final Wisconsin-Iowa Prediction & Pick: Wisconsin +4.5