Indiana vs. Rutgers Odds, Picks & Prediction | College Basketball Betting Preview (Saturday, Dec. 3)
Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana)
- Indiana travels to the RAC to face Rutgers in Big Ten league play.
- Trayce Jackson-Davis is still searching for his first win over the Scarlet Knights in his career.
- Will he get it in this matchup, and will the Hoosiers cover the spread? Keg breaks it all down.
Indiana vs. Rutgers Odds
-106o / -114u
-106o / -114u
This is a big game for some Hoosiers, and it’s even bigger for Trayce Jackson-Davis, who hasn’t beaten the Scarlet Knights once in his five previous meetings during his three years in Bloomington.
Rutgers has managed a 5-2 record so far this season, but has yet to beat a team ranked higher than 139th in KenPom. The Scarlet Knights have also yet to see all three of their best returning players from a year ago share the court, and Paul Mulcahy is still doubtful for Saturday.
The Scarlet Knights’ defense has been impressive to start the season, but how will it hold up against an Indiana team that ranks second nationally in effective field goal percentage?
Can Rutgers continue to be the Hoosiers’ kryptonite? Or will TJD finally get a win against a team that’s had his number throughout his college career?
Not many Hoosiers doubters remain after their big win over North Carolina on Wednesday, but the tests will only get tougher moving forward.
Indiana controlled what felt like the entire game against the Tar Heels. Any time it appeared North Carolina was almost back in the game, the Hoosiers went on another run.
Indiana’s offense has been among the top five in the nation to start the year. But the reason it has yet to lose a game has been the defense.
They have held teams to just 60.1 points per game and rank second nationally in scoring margin, outscoring their opponents by an average of 27 points per game.
Their defense’s biggest impact has been around the rim, where the Hoosiers rank in the 88th percentile, holding teams to just 54.3% on the season.
Indiana also ranks 14th in the country when it comes to defensive rebounds, averaging 27.7 per contest.
While the Hoosiers have faced some impressive competition — Xavier and North Carolina — the Rutgers defense will be the biggest challenge yet for their offense. Indiana ranks fourth nationally on 2-point shots, hitting at a rate of 62.3%. It’s also averaged a sixth-best 87.1 points per game.
But the Scarlet Knights have held teams to just 55 points per game and 36.2% shooting from the floor.
The Scarlet Knights’ chances to beat Indiana begin and end with their defense.
Respectfully, this Rutgers team has not shown the ability on the offensive end to keep up with Indiana. Even if the Hoosiers didn’t have a top-25 defense, Rutgers has struggled severely on offense.
It ranks outside the top 200 when it comes to both 2- and 3-point shooting.
The Scarlet Knights have been effective when it comes to getting offensive rebounds and making the most of them, as they rank in the 97th percentile in offensive boards and second-chance points per game.
But I won’t be counting on that against an Indiana team that, as I mentioned, has dominated at the rim.
The biggest focus for this Rutgers team if it wants to disrupt Indiana will be turnovers. First and foremost will be not giving them up; Rutgers ranks outside the top 100, giving up the ball 12.3 times per game on average.
But more importantly, creating them will be a focus.
Indiana hasn’t had a problem with turnovers, with just 15.2% of its possessions ending via turnover. Rutgers, however, is one of the best teams in the country when it comes to forcing turnovers, ranking 11th in the country.
The Scarlet Knights’ opponents have turned the ball over on 26.4% of offensive possessions and are giving the ball away 18.6 times per game on average.
If Rutgers can throw a wrench in the Hoosiers’ rhythm offensively, TJD could very well finish his college career having never left the RAC a winner.
Indiana vs. Rutgers Betting Pick
I do think Rutgers can challenge Indiana defensively, and I’m excited to see how the Hoosiers respond against an elite defense.
But I don’t think the Scarlet Knights will challenge them as much as the numbers lead you to believe.
Every one of Rutgers’ wins have come against a team ranked outside the top 100 in KenPom — three of them were outside the top 300.
The best team the Scarlet Knights have faced when it comes to effective FG% on either side of the ball has been UMass Lowell. The difference in competition when it comes to talent alone will be massive, and in my opinion, too much for Rutgers.
Even with how much of a kryptonite this Rutgers team has been to Indiana over the past few years, it doesn’t change my view. If anything, I expect Indiana to perform even better — specifically TJD, who’s acknowledged how tough the RAC has been during his time at Indiana.
If there are any Hoosiers doubters left out there, coming away from the RAC with a win for the first time since 2018 should silence them.
And I expect TJD and Indiana to do exactly that in undeniable fashion. I was able to get Indiana at -3.5, and would back it as high as -5.5 here.
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