19-12 overall, 9-7 conference, 5th Big Ten
Against the spread
12-17 (8-6 home, 2-8 away)
14-15 (5-9 home, 5-5 away)
2005 Season Summary
Head coach Bo Ryan had made the Wisconsin Badgers into a solid and perennial Big Ten contender that annually made the NCAA tournament. Wisconsin was particularly tough at home and was finally playing at a level that met its rabid fan support.
The Badgers enjoyed a solid 2004-05 season as they went 25-9 straight up and 18-16 against the spread. Wisconsin made the elite eight of March Madness before finally being eliminated by eventual national champion North Carolina 82-88 as 9.5-point dogs.
More of the same expected
The Badgers entered 2005-06 with more of the same expected as Ryan was a proven commodity as a coach and had built a strong basketball program that would continue to crank out wins.
Wisconsin opened the 2005-06 season with an 80-51 win over Norfolk State as 20.5-home chalks. This was followed by a close 95-89 overtime win at Eastern Kentucky as 12.5-point chalks. Next was an 84-81 win over Old Dominion as 1-point neutral court dogs followed by an unlined home win over Coastal Carolina. Wisconsin got a cover at Wake Forest in an 88-91 loss as 4.5-point dogs to start off at 3-1 against the spread.
With their elite eight appearance from the previous season, coupled with the good start against the sportsbooks in 2005-06, Wisconsin’s value plunged as they attracted more action from more gamblers.
The first evidence that the Badgers were losing value was with a 71-55 home win over Pepperdine as 20.5-point overlays. This was followed by another overlay failure against Wisconsin-Green Bay, an 82-62 win as 21-point chalks. The Badgers next beat Marquette at home 77-63 as 10-point chalks before once again becoming overlays in their next two games. First was a 54-51 home win over North Carolina-Wilmington as 10.5-point chalks followed by a 74-68 win over Wisconsin-Milwaukee as 8-point home chalks to close out a 1-4 string against the sportsbooks.
Back on track
The poor stretch against the sportsbooks did help Wisconsin retain some value as many gamblers cooled on them. The Badgers got back on track with a strong 78-52 win over Louisiana Tech as 13.5-point home chalks before losing at Pittsburgh 64-73 as 5.5-point dogs. This was followed with back-to-back home wins and covers over Iowa and Michigan State as Big Ten play began. After a 64-62 win at Minnesota as 3-point overlays the Badgers got a win and cover at home against Northwestern for a solid 5-3 run against the spread in this stretch of games.
Rough stretch in the red
Just when it appeared as if Wisconsin was ready to crank out the cash they relapsed with a rough stretch in the red staring with a 67-77 loss at Ohio State as 5-point dogs. This was followed by an unlined home win over North Dakota State. Next was a 72-43 blowout home win over Penn State as 15-point chalks before three consecutive losses both straight up and against the spread at Michigan, at home versus Illinois, and at Purdue.
Back in black
The streaky Badgers were a bargain again and back in black with three consecutive straight up wins and covers at home against Indiana, at Penn State and at home against Ohio State.
Bleeding red ink
The Badgers continued to confound gamblers as just when they appeared to be back on track the started bleeding red ink as they closed the regular season with four consecutive losses against the spread starting with an upset loss at Northwestern, followed by a home overlay win over Minnesota and losses at Michigan State and at Iowa.
Out of gas
The regular season collapse was indicative that Wisconsin was out of gas as they were bounced in their first game in the Big Ten tourney and in the opening round of the NCAA tourney to finish with 6 straight ATS losses.