College Basketball Betting Free Pick: Michigan Wolverines at Nebraska Cornhuskers
CBB FREE PICK: Michigan Wolverines at Nebraska Cornhuskers
#615 Nebraska +4.5 (Tuesday, January 28 @ 7 pm EST)
After a promising start to the season which included wins over Creighton, Gonzaga, and Iowa, things have started to unravel for the Michigan Wolverines. Head coach Juwan Howard announced earlier this week that Zavier Simpson has been suspended. Simpson, a senior, is one of the nation’s top assist men and has been a integral part of the program for four years. And Isaiah Livers, the team’s most efficient scorer (121.3 offensive rating) and best 3-point shooter (50%) reportedly re-injured his groin last time out after missing six games. He’s currently listed as day-to-day. This obviously comes at a bad time as the Wolverines limp into tonight’s game at Nebraska having lost four in a row. But even with both players in the lineup, Michigan has taken a huge step back on the defensive end with the Big Ten’s 14th-ranked defensive efficiency.
Speaking of struggles, Nebraska has had plenty as well as it attempts to navigate the Big Ten under first-year head coach Fred Hoiberg. However, if you squint a little bit you’ll see that the Cornhuskers have improved since early season losses to Riverside, Southern Utah, and North Dakota. In fact, their resume in Big Ten play is very respectable with wins over Iowa and Purdue and competitive road losses to Indiana, Northwestern, and Rutgers. They were also dealt no favors with having to play four of their last five on the road — in a league where the home team has won a staggering 76% of its games.
This is uncharted territory for a Michigan program who under the guidance of John Beilein won 30 games a year ago, never had a losing streak of more than one game, and was nearly perfect from an injury and suspension standpoint. Howard and his team are now in danger of seeing a once promising season completely collapse and must go on the road and attempt to win by margin without their senior starting point guard.