Michigan favored by three on the NCAA basketball odds board tonight in their tip off with Northwestern. Look to the underdog in this matchup and take the points. 

This is my seventh week of the NCAA basketball picks reports and currently the overall record stands at 24-14-4 ATS for 63.1% ATS winners. Last night Purdue got the cover against Indiana.

Five star graded play on the Northwestern Wildcats as they visit the Michigan Wolverines In Big Ten action set to start at 6:30 PM ET.

My proprietary sports handicapping database and simulator shows a high probability that the Northwestern Wildcats will lose this game by three or fewer points and has an excellent shot at winning the game. Michigan is playing their best basketball of the season and have covered four straight, but Northwestern has too much offensive firepower for Michigan to contain for an entire 40 minutes.

Play the First Half Line

I also like the playing Northwestern on the first half line for a three star amount, fully expecting a very fast start by the Wildcats. Supporting this graded play is a system that has produced a record of 25-2 ATS against the first half line for 93% winners since 1997. This system has gone 10-1 ATS over the past five seasons and 6-0 ATS over the past three seasons. This is the first qualifying play for this system this year.

Play on road teams where the first half line is +1.5 to -1.5 and is a solid offensive team scoring between 74 to 78 points per game, after a win by 6 points or less and now facing an excellent defensive team allowing 63 or fewer points per game after 15 or more games. 

The system has numerous parts to it and would require some work to track, but producing these kinds of records over 14 years is reason enough to take it upon yourself and monitor this money making system. Most important, is that it under scores the dominance that I strongly believe will occur in this game.

National Rankings and Statistics

The Wildcats rank second in the Big Ten and 43rd nationally in scoring offense at 75 points per game. They are one of the few teams in the nation that are scoring more in road games than at home. They are averaging 77.1 points per game in road games this season. This undoubtedly will make the game more difficult for Michigan to manage.

Northwestern and Michigan are two of the worst rebounding teams in the Big Ten. Northwestern ranks dead last in 11th place in the Big Ten and 313th nationally in total rebounding getting just 31 boards per game. Michigan ranks 10th in the Big Ten and 290th nationally in total rebounding getting 32.0 boards per game.

Both teams prefer to pack in the defense into the paint area and have a strong focus defending their glass first. They rank poorly in offensive rebounding as well. This illustrates that the game will take on a half court Big Ten style of game. This heavily favors Northwestern and their superior ability to execute fundamental basketball plays in the half court sets and score points.

Northwestern is a great ball handling and ball movement team that will wear down and exploit the Michigan defense. Northwestern ranks best in the Big Ten and ranks 5th nationally in assists at 17.8 assists per game.

By comparison, Michigan ranks 9th in the Big Ten and 131st nationally in assists getting 13.4 assists per game. You will see a tired Michigan defense in the second half of this game and a tired defense lacks the abilities to rebound the ball and get into transition quickly looking for high percentage fast break scoring opportunities.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Take Northwestern.