#8 Iowa (13-5, 7-4) goes to Bloomington to face Indiana (9-8, 4-6) with both teams badly needing a win. Iowa has lost three of four with one of those four being a home loss to Indiana.
The Hoosiers are coming in on back-to-back losses. Indiana lost their last game in overtime against Illinois 74-71 in one of the most poorly officiated games you will ever see.
Iowa Betting Preview
It is no secret that Iowa has the most efficient offense in all of college basketball. The problem is that the defense is getting worse on a weekly basis. The last time Iowa has held a team under 70 points was back on January 7th against Maryland.
Luka Garza is still one of the favorites to National Player of the Year. Garza leads the team in scoring (25.9), rebounding (8.7) and blocks (1.6). Garza is shooting 45% from behind the arc.
The other big weapon for Iowa is sharp shooter Joe Wieskamp. Wieskamp is averaging 14.4 points and is shooting 45.7% from three-point range.
The Hawkeyes are ranked 5th by Kenpom. The offense is ranked first in efficiency but the defense is all the way down to 130th. The Hawkeyes have the best turnover percentage in the nation on offense at 13%.
Indiana Betting Preview
Back-to-back home losses have Indiana moving to the bubble of the NCAA tournament. While Indiana is still in according to most bracketologist but they are listed as the last 11-seed meaning there is very little room for error.
Trayce Jackson-Davis is performing at an All-Big Ten level. Jackson-Davis, like Garza, leads the Hoosiers in scoring (20.1), rebounds (9.0) and blocks (1.8).
Armaan Franklin is Indiana’s second leading scorer at 12.7 points per game. Franklin is shooting 44.6% from three-point range.
Kenpom has Indiana ranked 27th in the nation. The offense is 44th in efficiency while the defense ranks 28th.
Mybookie has Iowa as a 3.5-point favorite. The total has not yet been posted.
Free Betting Pick
Both teams are struggling as far as wins and losses go, but I think Indiana is actually playing the better basketball. The Hawkeyes seem completely lost on the defensive end.
Indiana won at Iowa 81-69 only two weeks ago. Jackson-Davis proved to be a matchup nightmare for Iowa scoring 23 points on 9 of 14 shooting.
The Hoosiers strategy was make someone other than Garza beat them from behind the arc. It worked as the Hawkeyes only made 5 of 23 attempts from three-point range.
I like Indiana to not only cover, but win this game outright. Jackson-Davis has another big game as Iowa’s tailspin continues. The Hawkeyes fall in another one, while Indiana picks up a much needed win. The Hoosiers with their win get to 10 on the season, while Iowa drops their 5th conference game of the season. Take the Hoosiers.
Iowa 77, Indiana 79
Spooky Express Free Pick: Indiana +3.5