College Basketball Odds, Pick for Minnesota vs Iowa (Sunday, Feb. 11)
Via John Fisher/Getty Images. Pictured: Tony Perkins #11 of the Iowa Hawkeyes dribbles up court in the first half of the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Kohl Center on January 02, 2024 in Madison, Wisconsin.
Minnesota vs Iowa Odds
Tonight’s Big Ten matchup between the Minnesota Golden Gophers (15-7, 6-5) and the Iowa Hawkeyes (13-10, 5-7) is not just a regional rivalry but also a contest between two teams with contrasting styles and trajectories this season. Iowa enters this game off an 89-79 loss to Penn State while Minnesota looks to win its fourth game in a row.
Find my Minnesota vs Iowa pick and college basketball betting preview below.
Over the last 10 games, Minnesota’s scoring efficiency has fluctuated as this is a team still finding its rhythm. Despite respectable assist numbers that suggest a willingness to share the ball, the Gophers' overall shooting percentage and points per game have lagged behind expectations as they rank 105th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency.
This inconsistency might be a concern against an Iowa team known for its scoring prowess. However, Minnesota's ability to generate offensive rebounds has provided additional scoring opportunities, and this could play a significant role in keeping today's game competitive.
Defensively, the Gophers have been more consistent as they rank 52nd in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. Their effort on the defensive end, highlighted by steals and blocks, indicates a team that's committed to disrupting their opponents' offensive flow. Yet, challenges remain, particularly in guarding against high-efficiency shots and managing the defensive glass.
Minnesota's defensive strategy against Iowa will need to be multifaceted as the Gophers must limit both perimeter shots and interior scoring chances to stand a chance against the Hawkeyes' dynamic offense.
The Iowa Hawkeyes enter this matchup on the back of an impressive offensive display this season where they are averaging 84 points per game (15th in the nation) and rank 18th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency. Their scoring has been prolific all year long and ranks among the best shooting percentages from the field (30th).
Iowa's ability to spread the floor and create scoring opportunities through ball movement has been key to its success, with assist numbers that underscore their team-first approach. This offensive firepower makes the Hawkeyes formidable opponents, especially if they can dictate the pace of the game and engage their shooters early.
Defensively, Iowa has had its ups and downs as it ranks 149th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. The Hawkeyes' defensive efficiency has improved, although there are still vulnerabilities to exploit. The Hawkeyes' challenge will be to maintain their defensive intensity without compromising their offensive flow, a balance they've struggled with at times.
Against a Minnesota team that can be tenacious on the boards, controlling the paint and securing rebounds will be critical for Iowa to transition effectively into its fast-paced offense. Iowa has struggled to close out defensive possessions with rebounds as the Hawkeyes rank 248th in the country in Defensive Rebound Rate.
With home court being a huge element in the Big Ten, I am taking Iowa to cover the 5.5-point spread. Iowa's offensive depth and efficiency, particularly at home, position them as the favorites to control the game's tempo and narrative. Minnesota's offensive inconsistencies and defensive challenges against high-powered offenses like Iowa's suggest the Gophers may struggle to keep pace over the course of the game.
Ultimately, the Hawkeyes' blend of scoring, home-court advantage and recent form presents a strong enough case for me to back them to cover the spread. Take Iowa -5.5 and expect a high-scoring battle between these rivals.