Michigan vs. Minnesota NCAAB Odds, Picks: Gophers Lack Answers for Wolverines
Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images. Pictured: Hunter Dickinson (Michigan)
- Michigan takes on Minnesota in a Thursday night Big Ten duel.
- The Gophers were smacked by Purdue in their conference opener, but can they bounce back?
- Keg breaks it all down.
Michigan vs. Minnesota Odds
The Wolverines head to Minneapolis to begin conference play against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, who dropped their first conference game of the season — a 19-point loss to Purdue — in their most recent game.
The loss to Purdue was the Golden Gophers third straight as they are now just 4-4 to start the season and have yet to beat a team ranked inside the top 150 per KenPom. Things have been slightly better for Michigan (5-3) on the season, but the Wolverines needed overtime to hold off the Ohio Bobcats and their best win is over Pittsburgh, who is ranked 79th, per Kenpom.
Both teams are looking to get back on track Wednesday night in Minneapolis, but that’s proven to be a challenge for the Wolverines, who have lost three straight against the Gophers.
Michigan hasn’t won at Minnesota since February of 2019. Can Juwan Howard get his team back on track and notch his first win in Minneapolis?
I think this Michigan team is a lot better than the record leads you to believe. While they’ve lost three games, they’ve all come against top 50 competition, not to mention they’ve lost their past two games, against two top 10, teams by a combined six points.
The Wolverines offense is averaging 75.1 points per game, and hitting 44.7% from the floor. Hunter Dickinson and Jett Howard are the only players averaging double digits with 19.6 and 15.3 points per game, respectfully. And while Michigan doesn’t rank as a top team in any one specific category, the Wolverines have been consistent in most areas and make very few mistakes.
Michigan ranks as one of the best teams in the nation when it comes to limiting turnovers, giving the ball up just 9.3 times per game on average.
However, there will be one major change for Michigan against Minnesota, The Wolverines will be without their starting point guard, Jaelin Llewellyn, for this game and the rest of the season following an ACL injury he suffered against Kentucky.
Llewellyn has started every game for Michigan, who will likely turn to freshman Dug McDaniel for the remainder of the season. McDaniel has averaged 14.9 minutes per game off the bench, but only time will tell how he adjusts to a starting role.
The Golden Gophers have struggled at both ends of the court, scoring an average of 63.1 points per game(310th in the nation). Meanwhile, they’ve allowed opposing teams to rack up 66.4 points per contest.
The Golden Gophers haven’t done much well, but one thing they’ve been great at is avoiding foul trouble. Minnesota is averaging just 15 fouls per game and is even better when it comes to limiting free throws. Opponents are going to the charity stripe just 10.8 times per game against the Gophers.
Avoiding a free throw competition is pivotal for Minnesota. The Gophers have been the worst team in the nation at the line and are hitting just 54.9% of their attempts.
On the defensive end, Minnesota has been pretty solid, holding teams to 32% shooting from deep and just 40.6% from the the floor. However, in the loss to Purdue, the Boilermakers hit 54.2% of two-point shots and 41.2% of threes.
The Gophers lack of a true center was their demise against a tall and talented Purdue team. Now, against a Michigan team that ranks 22nd in average height and is led by 7′ 1″ Hunter Dickinson, I think we will see a similar result.
Michigan vs. Minnesota Betting Pick
The Wolverines are far and away a better team than the Gophers despite being just 5-3. Michigan has played tougher competition and has performed better against it.
I don’t see this Gophers team having an answer for Michigan in the paint at either end of the court. This line is also considerably lower than I expected. Even with the loss of Llewellyn, I don’t see Michigan taking long to adjust to McDaniel running point.
I was able to grab the Wolverines on Wednesday night as a 4.5-point favorite, but I’d feel comfortable backing them as high as -7.
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