Michigan vs. Iowa Odds, Picks, Predictions For Thursday’s College Basketball Showdown (February 17)
Nic Antaya/Getty Images. Pictured: DeVante’ Jones #12 of the Michigan Wolverines
- Looking for college basketball odds, picks and predictions for Michigan vs. Iowa? We've got you covered.
- Michigan is positioned as a 5.5-point underdog, but has shown its strength against stronger teams.
- Our analyst breaks down why he's eyeing the road dog in this Thursday night showdown.
Michigan vs. Iowa Odds
-102o / -120u
-102o / -120u
The Michigan Wolverines will head on the road to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes at Carver-Hawkeye Arena Thursday night after dropping a home game to Ohio State. On the other side of the coin, Iowa has riddled off three straight wins against the bottom of the Big Ten Conference. They are wins nonetheless, but Michigan will be the Hawkeyes’ best opponents in weeks.
Iowa touts a top-10 offense with a very disciplined approach, ranking first in offensive turnover percentage, while Michigan tends to control the pace of the game and shoots at similar marks as the Hawkeyes. Based on how the Wolverines held a poor defensive team in check last week (Purdue), expect a similar performance and a Michigan cover on the road.
The Wolverines have had a pretty solid month. Since Jan. 18, they are 6-3 with wins over Purdue and Indiana. They have been able to exploit poor defensive teams, and that should be the case with the Hawkeyes. Iowa ranks 119th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, per KenPom.
Michigan was able to fend off the Boilermakers — a similarly bad defensive team — by limiting them inside the arc but also shooting lights out from beyond the arc. In that game, they shot 12-of-21 from downtown. They shoot 35% as a team this season. Caleb Houstan, Eli Brooks, DeVante’ Jones and Hunter Dickinson all hit three-pointers above that mark. Iowa allows opponents to shoot 33.5% from outside, so this should be an opportunity for the Wolverines to take advantage of this weakness.
Michigan defends the arc well. They hold opponents to around 31%. Iowa shoots 35.2% as a team, so this should give an edge to the Wolverines. They have the defensive antidote to defend Iowa in its strongest positions.
Now, the story with the Hawkeyes revolves around Keegan Murray. He is a mismatch, standing at 6-foot-8. Michigan has Caleb Houstan who should be able to match up with him similarly on the defensive end. After all, he put up 14 on the Boilermakers.
Iowa’s weakness is obviously its defense, but rebounding on the defensive end will be a key issue in this game. Michigan crashes the glass offensively at a 31.7% rate, while Iowa allows an offensive rebounding rate of 29.9% for the opposition on the season. This is even worse and dead last in Big Ten play at 32.2% against better competition. Unfortunately for the Hawkeyes, Hunter Dickinson and Moussa Diabate will be able to exploit this problem consistently. These are two of the best offensive rebounders in the Big Ten, and it will show when the Wolverines are on the offensive end.
Iowa might be thrown off its usual rhythm on offense. In games against Penn State and Rutgers, Iowa was a mess. The Hawkeyes could only manage 66 points against Penn State in regulation and 46 against Rutgers. These two play a similarly slow game as Michigan, and it caused a litany of offensive issues for the Hawkeyes. Expect it to happen again.
Michigan vs. Iowa Betting Pick
Iowa has not defeated a top-45 KenPom team yet this season. Michigan comes into this game ranked 38th overall, according to KenPom, and should control the tempo of the entire game. If the Wolverines defend the arc well, it could potentially propel them to victory.
Given Michigan’s recent track record against stronger teams, the Wolverines should be able to keep this one close and cover the spread. Barttorvik makes the game +5 for Michigan. Frankly, this could be even tighter. Take the Wolverines at +5.5, and play to +4.5 (-110). If they hit threes on offense, they will win outright.