Iowa vs Indiana Odds, Picks: How to Bet Big Ten Battle
Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Iowa’s Kris Murray.
Iowa vs Indiana Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Both Iowa and Indiana are coming off their best wins of the season.
Down double digits with under a minute left, the Hawkeyes rallied late to take down Michigan State and avoid their third-straight loss. Meanwhile, the Hoosiers beat Purdue in West Lafayette to complete a sweep of the Boilermakers.
Indiana is in the NCAA Tournament and is mostly just fighting for seeding. Meanwhile, Iowa looks comfortably in, with most bracket projections placing the Hawkeyes on the seven- or eight-line.
The Big Ten seeding implications from this game are more significant. Indiana is tied for second place in the conference with three other teams, while Iowa is tied for sixth place with two other teams.
Do the math, and you realize seven teams are at either 11-7 or 10-8 in league play with only two games left.
Such is life in the Big Ten, where everything is a slog. This game should be a slog, too.
I don’t know how Iowa mounted a 10-point comeback with less than 90 seconds left against Sparty. Perhaps it was the Fran McCaffery magic…
Iowa went on a 20-10 run in regulation from this point on. pic.twitter.com/Xh9h6qlDO9
— Made For March (@madeformarch) February 25, 2023
But I don’t think McCaffery has any magic this season. The 2022-23 Hawkeyes are your typical Fran-led team.
They run the same up-tempo attack that involves quick-and-crisp ball movement alongside deadly shooting. Well, deadly shooting most of the time.
Iowa shot a combined 6-for-52 (11.5%) from 3 in back-to-back road losses against Northwestern and Wisconsin. It was only a terrible cold streak, and the Hawkeyes got back on track with a 17-for-36 (47.2%) performance against Sparty.
However, Iowa can shoot itself out of a game. And that’s because the second tenant of Fran-led teams is horrific defense.
Iowa now pairs the Big Ten’s best offensive efficiency mark with the second-worst defensive efficiency mark. The Hawkeyes are also last in the conference in 2-point (54.5%) and 3-point defense (39.8%).
ShotQuality (predictably) projects Iowa for a good amount of positive shooting regression on defense. However, the Hawkeyes don’t do anything well on defense, routinely getting shredded by ball screens and off-the-dribble shooters.
Moreover, not a single Iowa player has an EvanMiya DBPR rating above .5. For some context, Iowa’s best defender by this metric, Connor McCaffery, would rank 77th among Big Ten players.
The development of Jalen Hood-Schifino as a pick-and-roll guard has been astonishing. The silver lining from Xavier Johnson’s injury was that JHS was thrown into the fire, and his quick development has significantly raised the ceiling of this Indiana team.
Hood-Schifino shredded Purdue’s dribble defense in both meetings and was the primary reason the Hoosiers completed the sweep. JHS posted a combined 51 points and six assists with only four turnovers in the two matchups.
Purdue’s ball-screen defense is horrendous, so JHS only took advantage of a perfect matchup. However, look at how well the freshman guard adjusts once the Boilermakers start playing deeper and deeper drop coverage.
Most impressive part of Hood-Schifino vs. Purdue was the in-game adjustment. Painter dropped Edey deeper on ball screens, accounting for TJD lobs, and JHS took advantage every time: pic.twitter.com/kzHJMeqDWQ
— Eli Hershkovich (@EliHershkovich) February 27, 2023
Additionally, Mike Woodson has unleashed Hood-Schifino as the season has progressed. The guard has consistently upped his usage in the second half of the season, specifically in ball screens — JHS has snuck up to the 96th percentile among D-I players in pick-and-roll possessions.
Of course, it’s impossible to talk about Hood-Schifino without talking about his pick-and-roll partner. Trayce Jackson-Davis has put together his best season in Bloomington, averaging 20.1 points, 11 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game on 57% shooting.
Jackson-Davis is the most athletic and well-rounded two-way forward in college basketball. He’s a force as a rim protector (9.2% block rate, 20th nationally), rebounder (25.3% defensive rebounding rate, 41st nationally) and interior scorer (15.6 paint PPG).
Of course, TJD also scores 1.188 PPP in the pick-and-roll (75th percentile) and .907 PPP on post-ups (64th percentile).
So, how do you stop these two?
Loved this two-man action between Jalen Hood-Schifino and Trayce Jackson-Davis.
Such a timely pass, ensuring a wide-open lane to cut for the and-one finish. pic.twitter.com/cnrmhimxko
— Ersin Demir (@EDemirNBA) February 19, 2023
Of course, the Hoosiers play their normal, stingy defense. The Hoosiers lead the Big Ten in eFG% allowed, although some of their overall efficiency numbers are dragged down by their injury-riddled early January.
Iowa vs Indiana Betting Pick
You need to know one thing about handicapping Iowa: fear betting on the road Hawkeyes.
Iowa is now 3-7 straight up and 3-7 against the spread on the road this season. The Hawkeyes are also 1-2 SU and 0-3 ATS in their three neutral-court games.
Specifically, Iowa’s offensive efficiency goes down the drain once it leaves Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Among home teams, Iowa has the nation’s highest offensive efficiency mark (126.2) behind the 26th-best eFG% (57.4%). When on the road, Iowa has the nation’s 60th-highest offensive efficiency mark (109.3) and the 329th-ranked eFG% (45.1%).
Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes’ defense surprisingly improves drastically in those situations, likely because they score less. The Hawkeyes jump from 242nd in defensive efficiency at home (106.1) to 107th on the road (100.9).
Predictably, Iowa is 9-4 to the under on the road this season.
Given Indiana is an elite defensive team, I’m happy to bet on the road Iowa narrative and take the under.
I’m banking on the under instead of Indiana because both teams are due for a big letdown game following a few unlikely monster victories. Plus, both teams flying over the total in those wins means this total is likely set a bit high — especially after Michigan State and Iowa combined for 216 points.
The ShotQualityBets model agrees this number is a tad high, projecting the total at 149.6. I’ll bet the under at 153.5 or better.
Pick: Under 155.5 (Play to 153.5)
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