Michigan travels to Iowa to take on the Hawkeyes in this monstrous Big Ten matchup Thursday, February 17th. Last week Iowa beat both Maryland and Nebraska to move up to #19 in NET (NCAA Evaluation Tool). Michigan had the second biggest jump of bubble teams, moving up 17 spots to #35 after completely dominating top-ranked Purdue, squeaking out a road win against Penn State, and a tough loss to #17 Ohio State. Michigan at Iowa not only well help determine the Big Ten conference, but also who may or may not make March Madness. With March Madness a month away, use the Betting Strategies for Basketball tool to solidify the best strategy going into the tournament.
The Big Ten is currently the second best conference in basketball with thirteen of of their fourteen teams inside the top 100 for NET rankings. This includes six schools in the NET’s top 25 (Purdue, Illinois, Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin, & Michigan State). At the moment, Illinois leads the Big Ten standings with an 11-3 conference record, while Purdue & Wisconsin are both tied for second with a half game back.
Currently both #19 Iowa and #35 Michigan are tied for seventh place in the Big Ten standings. Both teams have a 7-6 conference record. The winner of this game will be a half game behind a tie for 5th in the standings between Michigan State and Rutgers. The Hawkeyes sport a better regular season record at 17-7, while the Wolverines faltered early, but are looking to recover with a 13-10 record themselves.
Iowa wants to continue their three game winnings streak after taking care of Nebraska, Maryland, and Minnesota recently. Michigan will be a tad bit tougher than those three teams, but Iowa plays really well at home. Iowa is 13-2 at home this year. The Hawkeyes are lead by sophomore forward Keegan Murray who ranks third in the nation with 23.3 points per game. He also averages 8.4 rebounds per game and 2 blocks per game. Murray’s numbers only get better at home, as he averages 24.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game.
Michigan had a big win against Purdue that sky-rocketed them up the rankings. However, after watching their home-performance against Ohio State, there is a lot to dislike. Furthermore, Michigan’s top shooter, Hunter Dickinson averages less points, rebounds, and blocks on the road. And to make matters even worse for the Wolverines, they are only 3-6 on the road this year. Those three road wins were against struggling Penn State, conference loser’s Nebraska, and a hit or miss Indiana squad.
Iowa averages 11.9 points per game more than Michigan, 1.2 more rebounds, 2.1 more assists, 1.7 more blocks, and 3.7 more steals. Basically, Iowa outperforms Michigan in every major stat, except points given up per game (where Michigan gives up 3.5 fewer points). But with Iowa leading the stats in all defensive categories, and the league’s best shooter playing at home, they should more than cover the spread. Gambling is legal in both Michigan and Iowa, but keep up with all the Gambling News state-by-state for all your betting needs.
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