Thursday’s College Basketball Betting Previews: Penn State-Michigan, Iowa-Purdue

Thursday’s College Basketball Betting Previews: Penn State-Michigan, Iowa-Purdue article feature image

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Michigan Wolverines head coach John Beilein

Five ranked teams take the court Thursday night, including four from the Big Ten. Among them, No. 2 Michigan faces Penn State in Ann Arbor while No. 25 Iowa travels to Purdue.

Which sides provide more value? Let’s breakdown the matchups.

>> All odds as of Thursday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NCAAB odds and track your bets.

Betting Odds For Penn State at Michigan

  • Spread: Michigan -11
  • Over/Under: 126.5
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

The undefeated Wolverines (5-8 against the spread) have failed to cover in five straight games — four of them coming as at least 17-point favorites. They’ll resume conference play laying double-digits against the Nittany Lions (5-8 ATS), who have covered just two of their past seven affairs.

Penn State has generated the 102nd-lowest Effective Field Goal Percentage (48.2%) in the country, and it won’t receive any assistance via Michigan, which is allowing the 10th-lowest eFG% (43.0%).

The Wolverines’ fourth-ranked Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (87.5 opponents’ Points Per 100 Possessions) will swarm the Nittany Lions’ inconsistent attack, guided by Charles Matthews’ elite defense on Penn State’s leading scorer, Lamar Stevens (18.8 points per game).

Plus, Michigan owns a significant height edge while yielding the seventh-lowest two-point percentage (41.4%) in Division I. With Penn State totaling 48.7% of its offense from inside the arc, it’ll struggle to find a rhythm vs. a front line of Jon Teske and Ignas Brazdeikis.

That size advantage should propel the Wolverines’ transition opportunities, as the unit has amassed the 15th-highest Defensive Rebounding Rate in DI, limiting the opposition’s second-chance opportunities. Michigan will likely feed the ball around the arc when pushing the pace, thanks to its 46th-ranked three-point shooting (37.7%).

According to Bet Labs, Jon Beilein’s crew is 18-13-1 (58.1%) ATS as a favorite, dating back to last season. Expect that trend to continue vs. Penn State.

THE PICK: Wolverines -11

Betting Odds For Iowa at Purdue

  • Spread: Purdue -8
  • Over/Under: 151.5
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV: Big Ten Network

The Boilermakers (6-7 ATS) have failed to cover in four of their past five affairs, and they’ll square off against a Hawkeyes bunch (5-8 ATS) that’s 2-2 ATS on the road. Despite Purdue boasting a slight height edge, the line is still disrespectful to Iowa, which should be able to play inside-out through its 37th-highest two-point percentage (56.1%) in the country.

The 6-foot-9, 250-pound Tyler Cook (16.8 points per game) will have an advantage in the post via his physical play, especially against the Boilermakers’ primarily small-ball lineup. Luka Garza, Cook’s frontcourt mate, is listed as questionable with an ankle injury.

Matt Painter’s squad is allowing the 71st-highest three-point percentage (36.9%) in DI, too. Belmont couldn’t take advantage in its matchup with the Boilermakers on Saturday, hitting just 11 of 38 shots from deep, but expect the Hawkeyes (35.5%) to connect on their open looks.

Both Purdue and Iowa will aim to run Carsen Edwards (25.8 ppg) and Jordan Bohannen (10.5 ppg) off plenty of ball screens, respectively, as they’re each shooting at least 35.4% from the perimeter.

The 6-foot-1 Edwards will hit his fair share of shots — regardless of how much space he’s given — but the Hawkeyes will need to limit the rest of the Boilermakers’ sharp shooters.

While 41.5% of Purdue’s offense comes from behind the arc, the Hawkeyes have limited their opponents to a 30.1% three-point clip. Fran McCaffrey’s unit presents the tools to keep this one close throughout.

THE PICK: Iowa +8