Big Ten Tournament Odds & Prediction: Our Picks for Maryland vs. Minnesota, More

Big Ten Tournament Odds & Prediction: Our Picks for Maryland vs. Minnesota, More article feature image
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Dustin Satloff/Getty Images. Pictured: Illinois’ Terrence Shannon Jr.

The Big Ten Tournament kicked off Wednesday night with Ohio State likely sealing the deal on Wisconsin’s NCAA Tournament hopes and Minnesota defeating Nebraska.

The Buckeyes advance to play Iowa on Thursday afternoon, and Minnesota will play Maryland to cap off Thursday’s Big Ten slate. To open the day, Rutgers and Michigan duel, and after the happy hour break, Illinois and Penn State do the same.

This is a loaded slate of Big Ten games, so let’s get to it.



Michigan vs. Rutgers Odds

Thursday, March 9
12 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Michigan Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-2.5
-112
132.5
-115o / -105u
-152
Rutgers Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+2.5
-108
132.5
-115o / -105u
+126
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Rutgers desperately needs this win to keep its NCAA Tournament hopes alive. That said, this one is going to come down to the wire. Michigan has played well lately, but it lost one too many early to essentially end its tournament hopes.

This will be a battle of defenses. Michigan ranks 52nd in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, per KenPom, holding opponents to 32% from deep and 48% on the interior. Rutgers holds a 47.9% eFG%, so it's not necessarily an offensive threat.

The Scarlet Knights also get to the line only 29.1% of the time, so nothing goes their way offensively. Much of their production will come from inside the arc, as they rank fourth in points per possession (PPP) at the rim with 1.27, per ShotQuality.

Michigan can at least hold its own, keeping opponents at bay on defense at 1.14 PPP. The Wolverines also don't allow many 3s — only 33.8% on defense — so Rutgers will not be scoring much in this game.

On the other side of the floor, the Scarlet Knights have an elite defense, ranking fourth in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, per KenPom, and holding opponents to a 45.8% eFG%. Michigan also gets to the line only 30.6% of the time. However, Rutgers does have a tendency to foul, so this may hinder the total going under.

However, the Scarlet Knights rank 21st in PPP at the rim, per Shot Quality, and sit 71st in Open-3 Rate. Since Michigan can distribute its points more evenly, look for Rutgers to have a stop for both threats.

This game should go under the total. Take it from 132.5 to 132.


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Iowa vs. Ohio State Odds

Thursday, March 9
2:30 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Iowa Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-4.5
-106
153.5
-115o / -105u
-188
Ohio State Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+4.5
-114
153.5
-115o / -105u
+155
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

This game gives us two of the worst defenses in the Big Ten.

Iowa ranks 168th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, per KenPom, while OSU ranks 112th. On the other side of the floor, Iowa sits fourth in offense, and Ohio State ranks 21st, so be ready for plenty of points.

The Hawkeyes play at the 53rd-quickest Adjusted Tempo while shooting 34.6% from deep and 52% on the interior. They can also get to the line, so being able to score from anywhere on the floor will give the Buckeyes defensive problems.

The Bucks, meanwhile, thrive in the 2-point game with nearly 57% of their total points on the season coming from that area. However, sometimes they become a little happy with midrange and post-ups.

If they get open 3s and shots at the rim, they're extremely efficient. On the season, they rank 40th in PPP at the rim and eighth on catch-and-shoot triples, per ShotQuality. They should be able to manufacture these shots against an Iowa defense that yields 36.5% from beyond the arc and 52.5% inside the arc.

Take the over from 153.5, and play it to 154.5.


Illinois vs. Penn State Odds

Thursday, March 9
7 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Illinois Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-2.5
-115
139.5
-115o / -105u
-146
Penn State Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+2.5
-105
139.5
-115o / -105u
+122
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

In the regular season, the Nittany Lions took it to the Illini by winning both games by double digits. Illinois looks to bounce back in front of a crowd at the United Center in Chicago, which should feature a home-court-like advantage.

Penn State thrives from deep, hoisting 48.2% of its shots from that distance and hitting nearly 39% as well. Illinois yields a 3-point percentage of 33.4% from deep, but it does hold opponents to a 30.7% attempt clip from that distance, so this should come to fruition this time around.

The last time these teams met, Jalen Pickett carved up the Illini for 41 points. This should be a wake-up call for Brad Underwood to throw a mismatch in there with Coleman Hawkins.

Since Penn State doesn't play big, this opens up the exterior with Pickett inside. However, with Hawkins guarding him, the Nittany Lions won't have the inside option for Pickett to score. This, in turn, allows the Illini backcourt to lock down the perimeter.

Jayden Epps’ is still in concussion protocol with his status in question, but he would help with some needed ball handling at point guard. However, the Illini played well with Sencire Harris and Terrence Shannon bringing up the ball, so they should be fine. Epps would still be a nice boost, however.

Either way, Illinois had two of its worst games against Penn State the first two times, so expect this to be different.

Take Illinois at -2.5 , and play it to -3). Be aware that this probably has the least value, though, given historical results. If Hawkins isn't guarding Pickett, it could yield a similar result for Penn State.


Maryland vs. Minnesota Odds

Thursday, March 9
9:30 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Maryland Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-13.5
-102
132.5
-115o / -105u
-1100
Minnesota Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+13.5
-120
132.5
-115o / -105u
+680
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Minnesota did not get lucky with its second-round matchup.

Maryland has beaten it twice this season, with the closest margin of defeat being 18 points on the road. It's hard to beat a team three times by wide margins, but that should be the case again here.

Minnesota ranks 232nd in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency and 185th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, per KenPom. It also sits worse than 280th in rebounding on both sides of the floor.

Meanwhile, the Terrapins are top-35 in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency and are about league average in the rebounding category. This is a massive edge for the Terps, even if they're a team that likes playing at home.

The only thing Minnesota can do on defense is not foul, giving up only a 24.5% free-throw attempt percentage. Maryland likes drawing contact and getting to the line, so that's the Gophers' main advantage.

However, the Terps can offset this by forcing turnovers. They rank 50th in PPP in transition, and Minnesota turns the ball over 19.5% of the time. This should help boost its scoring outside of free throws.

Either way, Minnesota needs to pull the Band-Aid off of a horrible season, and this will be the game it happens.

Maryland has the key advantages, so take the Terrapins from -12.5 to -14.

Pick: Maryland -12.5 (Play to -14)

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