CBB Picks: Take Wisconsin, Miami against the spread on Wednesday

Wednesday's Big Ten clash between Wisconsin and Illinois will provide some clarity in the conference's regular-season title race.

The Badgers and Fighting Illini are tied with Michigan State on an 8-2 league record. Purdue, who is also in action on Wednesday, is one game behind at 7-3.

Illinois entered the season as one of the favorites to win the Big Ten, while Wisconsin quickly established itself as a contender with its Maui Invitational victory.

Wisconsin lost once since December 15 and it stands a good chance to win against an Illinois side that has been a bit inconsistent lately.

Johnny Davis and the Badgers will be competitive for all 40 minutes against Illinois and it is certainly capable of covering the seven-point spread.

The ACC title race takes up some of the early focus on Wednesday. Miami needs a home win over Notre Dame to open up a bigger gap between itself, Duke and the rest of the competition.

Wednesday CBB Picks

Overall Record: 145-174-1 (3-4 Tuesday)

Pittsburgh at Wake Forest (-12.5) (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Wake Forest could not have asked for a better bounce-back spot.

The Demon Deacons got torched in Syracuse over the weekend and they get to take that loss out of their system by playing one of the worst teams in the ACC.

Three of Pittsburgh's last four losses have come by 13 or more points, which fits in nicely with the point spread in Wake's favor.

Pitt has not covered in its three defeats by 13 or more lately, all of which occurred on the road.

Notre Dame at Miami (-4.5) (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

It's time for Miami to eliminate another ACC regular-season title contender.

Notre Dame was exposed by Duke in an ugly 43-point performance on Monday and now it has to fly down to Miami on short rest to face a Hurricanes team that controlled its Saturday matchup with Georgia Tech.

Miami is 5-1 against the spread in its last six games and a victory puts some needed distance between itself and the Fighting Irish in the title race.

The ideal situation is for the Hurricanes to win the majority of their remaining games and to have Duke and North Carolina split their regular-season series. Miami owns the head-to-head tiebreakers over Duke and UNC, so it will win if it finishes level with either program. A Duke-UNC split allows the Hurricanes to have some margin for error.

Saint Louis at George Mason (Over 136.5) (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Saint Louis-George Mason is a sneaky good game between two teams trending in the right direction in the Atlantic 10.

Saint Louis is on a three-game winning streak with victories over some of the worst teams in the conference. George Mason has wins over Dayton and St. Bonaventure in its current four-game winning run.

Both sides are playing with a ton of confidence right now and that helps the argument for the over. Both teams have consistently scored in the 70s, but most of the recent totals have been set in the 140s, which is why their over/under numbers are not great.

George Mason ranks 15th on KenPom in two-point percentage and Saint Louis is 61st in adjusted offensive efficiency. Those are just two of the numbers I like in favor of the over.

Purdue at Minnesota (Over 139.5) (7 p.m. ET, BTN)

Rarely have we gotten the Purdue total set under 140 this season.

Eight of the last 10 Purdue games closed with an over/under above 140. The Boilermakers are still 7-3 to the over in that span.

Minnesota is 5-1 to the over in its last six contests. The Golden Gophers have scored at least 60 points in every game during that span.

If the Gophers continue to score at that rate and Purdue reaches its average of 84 points per game, the over clears safely.

USC Upstate (-3.5) at Hampton (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

I'm a sucker for a good betting trend.

USC Upstate is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games and it has covered in each of its last seven games.

Most of those covers have come as an underdog, but USC Upstate can win easily against Hampton on Wednesday.

USC Upstate ranks 10th in three-point offense on KenPom and it shoots 45.6 percent from the field. The Spartans average 10 more points per game than Hampton, who ranks 345th in three-point offense and 354th in two-point offense on KenPom.

Tulane at Houston (-17) (8 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Houston has quietly been on a roll lately in the American.

The Cougars covered as a favorite of 18 and 19 points in their last two home games.

Kelvin Sampson's team is up to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 and it is smothering teams with its defense. Houston held its last three opponents to 55 points or fewer.

That is a bad sign for an average Tulane team that allows 15 more points per game than Houston.

Wisconsin (+7) at Illinois (9 p.m. ET, BTN)

I don't know if I can trust Illinois with seven points at home right now.

The Fighting Illini lost to Purdue and Maryland and then scored less than 60 points in wins over Michigan State and Northwestern.

Wisconsin has a single loss in its last 10 games and it needs a win to create separation in the Big Ten regular-season title race.

The Badgers could certainly win this game, and at minimum, they should cover in Champaign.

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