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James Madison vs. Wisconsin: Picks, Predictions, Odds and Player Props

The Wisconsin Badgers are a veteran group that has the capability of making a run to the second weekend of the tournament, but opening round opponent James Madison is coming off a record-setting regular season.

The James Madison Dukes have had an extremely impressive season with a 31-3 record, although they have not faced much.

Can the Badgers move on, or will James Madison pull off the classic 12 seed over 5 seed upset that we’ve seen in plenty of tournaments past?

James Madison vs. Wisconsin betting picks and predictions

James Madison +5.5 (-110)

There is a clear path to victory for James Madison in this one and that’s largely due to how Wisconsin plays and what that will enable the Dukes to do on both ends of the floor. These teams are completely different on paper and that should lead to a fascinating matchup.

Wisconsin has a well-earned reputation of being technical and methodical on offense. On the other hand, James Madison plays at a much faster tempo and attempts a ton of threes.

That introduces a lot of variance into the game, because the Dukes are capable of getting hot from beyond the arc and the Badgers have not defended the arc well this season.

On the other side of the ball, James Madison is a high-pressure defense that also very much needs to create turnovers in order to succeed. They did that in the regular season, allowing opponents to shoot a stingy 28.8 percent from three and forcing 14.4 turnovers per game.

This is a team that excels when they are scoring in transition, but they might not get those opportunities against a Wisconsin side that does not turn it over often - just 9.7 times per game.

The most likely scenario for this matchup is that this game is decided on whether James Madison can force enough turnovers to generate easy looks, or if Wisconsin can defend the three-point line effectively.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if Wisconsin ends up coming away with the win here, but even if that was the case, that win would likely be a narrow one. It’s hard to lay nearly two full possessions against such a talented and experienced team as James Madison, so taking the points with the underdog is the preferred option in this one.

T.J. Bickerstaff Over 7.5 rebounds (-110)

There are plenty of player prop markets in this first round matchup, but the one to hone in on is in T.J. Bickerstaff to record more than 7.5 rebounds.

The James Madison senior forward has cleared this number in 16 games this season, but his productivity on the glass has skyrocketed in recent weeks, having recorded double digit rebounds in four of the Dukes' last six games.

Given that he recorded 27 rebounds in just three Sun Belt tournament games, it’s reasonable to expect another strong effort on the glass in this similar tournament setting against Wisconsin.

Read more Men’s College Basketball Tournament coverage.

James Madison vs. Wisconsin odds

James Madison

+195 ML

Wisconsin

-240 ML

Spread

Wisconsin -5.5

Totals

O/U 145.0

James Madison vs. Wisconsin player props

Player points

T.J. Bickerstaff (James Madison)

O/U 11.5

Terrence Edwards (James Madison)

O/U 16.5

Noah Freidel (James Madison)

O/U 11.5

Steven Crowl (Wisconsin)

O/U 12.5

Chucky Hepburn (Wisconsin)

O/U 11.5

Max Klesmit (Wisconsin)

O/U 9.5

AJ Storr (Wisconsin)

O/U 18.5

Tyler Wahl (Wisconsin)

O/U 9.5

Read James Madison vs. Wisconsin: How to watch, TV Channel, streaming, start time, injury report and stats on site.

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This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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