College Basketball Odds, Picks and Predictions for Minnesota vs. Indiana (Sunday, Jan. 9)
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Minnesota vs. Indiana Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
There is no better way to warm up for the last full slate of NFL games than with a 12 p.m. ET Big Ten game. The Golden Gophers of Minnesota head to Bloomington to take on the Indiana Hoosiers.
Both teams enter this matchup on the heels of inter-conference duels, though the results were very different.
Kofi Cockburn and the Fighting Illini dominated the Golden Gophers. While Cockburn is a difficult matchup for any opponent, his performance highlighted a problem for Minnesota. The Golden Gophers will need to solve it fast, as the Hoosiers have a dominant big man of their own.
Speaking of that big man, Trayce Jackson-Davis had a big performance, as he led his Hoosiers to a victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes. Indiana will look to carry the momentum into this matchup, as the Hoosiers want to prove they are contenders in the conference.
The Golden Gophers are a team that knows their personnel and has formed their identity around that personnel.
Minnesota is 242nd in tempo, as its slow-paced, half-court offense is centered around Jamison Battle. He has been outstanding for the Golden Gophers this season, averaging 18 points and six rebounds per game.
As I mentioned in the opening, the matchup with Cockburn revealed a lot on both ends of the floor for Minnesota. Not only did Battle get out-matched on the defensive end, but he was also shut down offensively. As a result, he had his lowest point output of the season, as he only mustered 10 points and two rebounds.
Now, Battle — who’s listed at 6-foot-7, 225 pounds — will be matched up with another larger man in Jackson-Davis, who is listed at 6-foot-9, 245 pounds. The size disparity points to another challenging day for Battle down low.
The Golden Gophers do have two other primary scoring options in the backcourt — E.J. Stephens and Payton Willis — but both were also kept quiet against Illinois.
This Hoosiers team is as stout as they come on the defensive end. The Hoosiers are fifth in adjusted defensive efficiency and third in effective field goal percentage. Minnesota will need to get creative on offense, or it could be a long day for it.
I highlighted the matchup within this matchup that will decide the game.
It will be Jackson-Davis against Battle on the low block. Jackson-Davis will have both the size and skill advantage. He has been tough to stop down low this season, as he has made nearly 69% of his close-range, 2-pointers.
While Jackson-Davis may be getting all the spotlight for this Indiana team, his frontcourt mate may also play a prominent role in this matchup.
Junior forward Race Thompson is having a very productive season, as he is averaging almost 11 points and eight rebounds per game. In addition, he has been even more efficient than Davis inside the arc, as Thompson has made 68% of his 2s and 80% of his close 2s.
The Hoosiers should be able to play their style of basketball. The Golden Gophers are a solid defensive team, but most buckets made against them come from close range. Opponents have shot nearly 59% from there.
Minnesota vs. Indiana Betting Pick
The Hoosiers will hold the edge in nearly every facet of this game. They will be able to score down low consistently through Davis and Thompson. Those two will also be able to contain Battle and, in turn, stifle the Golden Gophers’ offense as a whole.
Bart Torvik has Indiana projected as nine-point favorites. Given all the advantages the Hoosiers will hold and the fact that they are at home, I expect them to cover that nine, and would take them to win this game by double digits.