Indiana vs Northwestern Odds & Picks: How to Bet This Big Ten Battle

Indiana vs Northwestern Odds & Picks: How to Bet This Big Ten Battle article feature image
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Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images. Pictured: Race Thompson & Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana)

Indiana vs Northwestern Odds

Wednesday, Feb. 15
9 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Indiana Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-2.5
-110
134
-110o / -110u
-145
Northwestern Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+2.5
-110
134.5
-110o / -110u
+125
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The red-hot Indiana Hoosiers hit the road to Evanston looking to avenge their early-season loss to Northwestern. Both teams have taken down mighty Purdue in the last two weeks and enter on three-game win streaks.

IU remains shorthanded and injury-riddled, but that hasn't affected it success-wise.

Northwestern, on the other hand, has used defense to catapult up the Big Ten standings.

Can the Hoosiers win on the road after falling to the Wildcats earlier this season, or will Northwestern continue rolling after taking down Purdue on Saturday?


Indiana Hoosiers

Indiana's season could have spiraled out of control in mid-January. The Hoosiers lost five of seven and began Big Ten play at 1-4, with losses to Northwestern and Penn State.

Despite battling injuries, Mike Woodson's squad has won eight of its last nine since. The Hoosiers took down then-No. 1 Purdue and picked up wins against Illinois and Rutgers along the way. A big road victory at Michigan has vaulted IU to second in the conference.

Race Thompson missed Saturday's game and is questionable to play against Northwestern. Xavier Johnson is nearing a return and his status is up in the air, too.

IU's offense revolves around Trayce Jackson-Davis. He's used on over 30% of possessions and is extremely efficient attacking the rim. He draws fouls at a top-60 rate and often attacks out of the post. Opponents will often double team the versatile big, who is a talented and smart passer.

Johnson's midseason injury could even be looked at as a benefit. Other than TJD, Indiana lacked a second playmaker.

Freshman Jalen Hood-Schifino took tremendous strides as he filled in as the starting point guard. Aside from his team-best 4.2 assists per game, he's also first in steals (1.0) and second in scoring (12.6).

Because Indiana's offense revolves around the two-man game of Hood-Schifino and Jackson-Davis — oftentimes in the pick-and-roll or out of the post — the Hoosiers shoot 3s at one of the lowest rates in the country.

They're efficient with their opportunities, but they rather push transition and attack the rim whenever possible.

While the Hoosiers rank inside the top 20 in average height, they lack size around the rim. Thompson, Jackson-Davis and Malik Reneau are the three big men, but none stand above 6-foot-9.

Opponents attack the rim at a frequent rate, per ShotQuality, and Indiana is due for negative regression in that area. Despite its 34th-ranked 2-point offense, SQ actually projects its success rate around the rim to be near 57%, as opposed to the actual 51%.

IU's on-ball pressure and defensive schemes don't force many turnovers. The Hoosiers' length is a disruptor for guards on the perimeter, but opponents often settle in out of the half-court to attack.

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Northwestern Wildcats

After being blown out of the water against Michigan on its home floor, Northwestern hit the road and ripped off back-to-back wins against Wisconsin and Ohio State.

The Wildcats added a win against Purdue on Sunday and are tied with Indiana for second in the Big Ten.

Northwestern's success is predicated on its defense. It has great spacing and forces turnovers at a top-35 rate.

This is a long and athletic Wildcats team that slows their opponents down and  features a compact defense. They deploy frequent post traps, which leads to turnovers — but also a lot of 3s.

They are about league average in 3-point defense, but top-20 defending 2s, which makes sense considering Chris Collins' head coaching style.

In their earlier matchup against Indiana, the Hoosiers shot 50% from the perimeter. But NW's offense was able to break down the Hoosiers.

The Wildcats' defense will give up a lot of off-the-dribble 3s and post-up opportunities, hoping their defensive intensity can force bigs into mistakes. They forced 16 turnovers against Indiana in their first matchup and 16 against Purdue in a six-point win.

Zach Edey scored 24 points, but did turn the ball over six times. Purdue could not find its stroke from 3, and that's ultimately the reason why Northwestern pulled off the upset win.

The duo of Boo Buie and Chase Audige run the offense and take over 27% of shots while on the floor. They run the pick-and-roll at the seventh-highest rate in the country and are extremely careful with the basketball.

The Wildcats rarely run out in transition — they're efficient because it normally comes on fast-break opportunities —  and prefer to play at a slowed pace.

They shoot 3s on over 40% of possessions, but have really struggled when it comes to finishing. Northwestern ranks in the high 200s in both 2-point and 3-point offense.

Northwestern likes to win ugly. This year, it has held opponents to 65 or less points in 19 of 25 games.


Indiana vs Northwestern Betting Pick

The last time these two teams played, Hood-Schifino had the best game of his career. He scored 33 points on 12-of-17 shooting and made five 3s in the eventual loss.

A game like that is not easily replicated, especially against a compact defense like Northwestern.

The Wildcats were able to storm into Bloomington — one of the hardest home environments in college basketball — and come out victorious. A sweep of the season series would all but cement an NCAA tournament berth (though it's likely NW makes it regardless).

The defense Collins deploys should be make Jackson-Davis uncomfortable. He shot 8-of-19 from the field and grabbed 24 rebounds in the first matchup — seven offensive — but oftentimes was forced to pass out of the post.

He finished with eight assists as Indiana shot 9-of-18 from 3.

That's a hard stat to replicate considering IU now heads on the road. And despite the Hoosiers' 3-point success, they don't frequent from the perimeter.

How to bet this game hinges on the health of Thompson and Johnson. If both miss another game — which seems likely at this point — Northwestern should be favored by more than a point. I also like the under in that circumstance.

NW had no issues breaking down IU's defense in the earlier matchup. The Hoosiers have their issues at the rim, and it's where opponents frequently attack.

With a thinner rotation, and Indiana's struggles being Northwestern's preference — pick-and-roll (192nd) and mid-range (312th) — the Wildcats' duo of Buie and Audige should roll once again.

If Thompson and Johnson return, I would look toward the under instead. Northwestern plays at a snail's pace and it's normally a rarity to see 140+ points in a game, let alone the 167 in their first matchup.

Thompson provides stability on the interior and should provide a huge boost defensively. Johnson returning would only help the case for the under, too.

Pick: Split Northwestern ML/Under if Thompson/Johnson Are Out | Under 134.5 if They're in

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