Michigan vs Penn State College Basketball Odds, Picks, Prediction
Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Jalen Pickett (Penn State)
Michigan vs. Penn State Odds
-105o / -115u
|Penn State Odds|
-105o / -115u
Michigan and Penn State will meet in a classic Sunday afternoon Big Ten matchup. This is a crucial game for both teams, as they’re looking to bounce back from losses in their most recent games.
The visiting Wolverines were outlasted by No. 1 Purdue on Thursday night, 75-70. Michigan has caught the injury bug with Jett Howard and Youssef Khayat both missing Thursday’s game due to injury.
In addition, Jace Howard was limited to just eight minutes due to a lingering concussion.
On the other side, Penn State was only able to muster 45 total points against Rutgers’ stifling defense, resulting in a 65-45 loss on Tuesday. Luckily, the Nittany Lions return home, where they have only lost one game this season.
In the first matchup between these two, Michigan prevailed 76-69 in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines had four players in double figures.
To pick which team will be able to bounce back, let’s take a look at the odds and make a prediction for Michigan vs. Penn State.
The last thing this Michigan team — which sits in a three-way tie for fifth place in the Big Ten standings — needed was injuries.
With Jett going down with an ankle injury against Minnesota, the Wolverines are now missing four players from their opening day roster.
In addition to Jett, Jace (concussion), and Khayat (lower body) are both in doubt for Sunday’s matchup with Penn State. These injuries are significant to a Michigan team that has already lost Jaelin Llewellyn to a season-ending ACL tear.
The Wolverines must now pick up the pieces and attempt to bounce back after being defeated by No. 1 Purdue on their home floor.
Unfortunately, Michigan has not seen much success on the road, winning just one of its three true road tests.
Offensively, Michigan will look to play through center Hunter Dickinson — as it has for most of the season. Dickinson will be matched up against a Penn State team that ranks 248th in average height.
The Nittany Lions are particularly undersized in the frontcourt, with 6-foot-10 freshman Kebba Njie being the only member of the roster measuring above 6-foot-8.
Impressive defense by Penn State big man, Kebba Njie (6-10/240).
Slides his feet and absorbs the contact well and denies TJD a look at the rim. Also looks so much better as a passer than earlier in the season.
A solid prospect for the 2024 NBA Draft. Keep an eye on him. pic.twitter.com/kv3koEJJgW
— Ersin Demir (@EDemirNBA) January 16, 2023
Luckily for Penn State, Njie has been tested this season, as the Nittany Lions have played the 43rd-toughest schedule, according to KenPom’s overall components.
When Njie is not in the game, Penn State will look to expose Dickinson on the defensive end by matching him up with 6-foot-6 forward Seth Lundy, who is averaging 13.7 points per game.
Overall, this Michigan team is reeling from an injury and results perspective and will not be given anything for free against Penn State.
Penn State and star Jalen Pickett have been lights out on their home floor. The Nittany Lions are 10-2 at home, with wins against Iowa, Indiana and Nebraska in Big Ten play.
This comfort level is crucial for a team driven by its outside shooting. The Nittany Lions score 43.4% of their points from beyond the arc, the fourth-highest rate in the country.
Additionally, there is no better team in all of college basketball at taking care of the ball than the Nittany Lions. Penn State turns the ball over on just 13.0% of its possessions.
This ball control can be attributed to Penn State averaging 3.98 years of Division I experience, the highest rate in the country.
It also doesn’t hurt that the Nittany Lions have one of the best players in all of college basketball running their offense, Pickett.
JALEN PICKETT!! 😱 Nothing but net AND ONE! @JalenPickett7 x @PennStateMBB pic.twitter.com/I23ZVIlaKY
— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) January 8, 2023
Overall, look for Penn State’s offense to continue to roll on its home floor against a Michigan team desperately trying to get healthy.
Michigan vs. Penn State Betting Pick
There have been few better teams at home this season than the Penn State Nittany Lions. This home court advantage will be expanded as they match up with a Michigan team that has yet to prove itself on the road.
To make matters worse, the Wolverines will potentially be without three members of their rotation, including their second-leading scorer. Although Dickinson has experience carrying the load for this Michigan offense, even that may be too much to ask.
Penn State’s experienced offense — led by Pickett — will be zoned in and ready to get revenge against the Wolverines.
Given the injury list for Michigan, it will be important to monitor the status of key contributors such as Jett and Jace.
Pick: Penn State -5 or Better
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