Northwestern vs. Indiana College Basketball Odds & Picks: Plenty Of Value With Wildcats on Wednesday
Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Boo Buie.
- The college basketball battle between Ohio State and Rutgers isn't Wednesday's only quality Big Ten matchup.
- There is another big conference meeting, with the Northwestern Wildcats hitting the road to face the Indiana Hoosiers.
- BJ Cunningham breaks down the game and shares why he's backing the Wildcats in the affair below.
Northwestern vs. Indiana Odds
|Northwestern Odds||+8.5 [BET NOW]|
|Indiana Odds||-8.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+335 / -455 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||139 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||Big Ten Network|
After a historic upset over Michigan State on Sunday night, Northwestern goes for another one on Wednesday, when the Wildcats travel to Bloomington to take on Indiana.
Northwestern knocked off No. 4 Michigan State at home on Sunday, which was its first win over a top-five team since 1979. The Wildcats were projected to finish near the bottom of the Big Ten this year, so another upset on Wednesday could propel them toward the middle of the conference.
Indiana finished in the middle of the pack in the Big Ten last season, and the Hoosier faithful need to see results if head coach Archie Miller is going to see a fifth season.
The Hoosiers have failed their two biggest tests of the season against Texas and Florida State but have otherwise taken care of business. They have a date with Illinois over the weekend, so this could be a possible look-ahead spot for the Hoosiers.
Northwestern was extremely young last season and went through a lot of growing pains, finishing with only three Big Ten wins in 2019. However, with a win over Michigan State under their belt, the Wildcats may be on their way out of the conference’s basement.
Northwestern’s offense this season hinges on the play of Boo Buie. The sophomore guard had 21 points against Michigan State and is the Wildcats’ No. 1 scoring option. Northwestern also adds four-star recruit Ty Berry to the backcourt, which should help Buie with the scoring load.
Northwestern has been shooting the lights out through their first four games, ranking inside the top 20 in effective field goal percentage and 3-point percentage.
Northwestern really struggled against the 3-ball last year, ranking 225th in 3-point percentage. The Wildcats also were one of the worst teams in the country at forcing turnovers, ranking 329th, according to KenPom.
However, they’ve drastically improved those numbers through their first four games, so they may be able to shut down Indiana’s offense on Wednesday.
For Indiana, the offense runs through sophomore Trayce Jackson-Davis. He is the Hoosiers’ leading scorer and has the highest usage rate of any player in the Big Ten this season. As Jackson-Davis goes, Indiana goes.
Outside of losing Devonte Green, Miller has all of his main contributors back, which has jumped Indiana from 34th in the KenPom rankings last season to 17th in 2020. So far, the Hoosiers have been pretty average on the offensive end, but the real improvements have come on the defensive end.
On defense, the Hoosiers have made drastic improvements from last season and rank inside the top 10 in defensive efficiency, compared to ranking 26th. Indiana has been fantastic in regards to every defensive shooting stat, but Northwestern has been shooting the lights out.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Given how Northwestern is shooting the ball, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that it could shoot Indiana out of the gym. The Hoosiers do have one of the best defenses in the country, but they’ll have their hands full on Wednesday.
I have Indiana projected as only -6.46 favorites at home, so I think there’s some value on the Wildcats at +8.5. However, I wouldn’t play it any lower than that.
Pick: Northwestern +8.5.