College Basketball Odds, Picks & Predictions for Rutgers vs. Indiana (Wednesday, March 2)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Trayce Jackson-Davis.
- The Rutgers Scarlet Knights travel to Bloomington on Wednesday night to take on the Indiana Hoosiers.
- The Hoosiers and Knights are both looking to improve their postseason fates ahead of the Big Ten Tournament.
- Check out college basketball betting analyst DJ James' top bet for this game below.
Rutgers vs. Indiana Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
In one of the final games of the Big Ten regular season, both Rutgers and Indiana hope to seal their respective fates in the NCAA Tournament field with a notable win in Bloomington.
After rattling off wins over Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Illinois, Rutgers has dropped its last three games. Meanwhile, Indiana picked up two needed victories over teams at the bottom of the conference.
Even if the Hoosiers have faltered from where they stood about a month ago, the Scarlet Knights had to strike a balance with where they stood. No, they were not as bad as the team that lost to Lafayette at home, but they also are not better than the top of the Big Ten.
This is why Indiana should be able to cover the number at home.
The Scarlet Knights do not have the strongest track record on the road. They are 4-7 against the spread when they travel, and eight of their 12 losses have come away from Piscataway.
This is not the only issue.
Their offense is relatively weak. Rutgers owns the ninth-best adjusted offensive efficiency mark in Big Ten play, according to KenPom. Indiana has been worse, but considering the Scarlet Knights have to hit the road again, they are at a disadvantage.
Of Rutgers’ overall points this season, 57.4% have come from inside the arc. This is crucial, considering it has to go up against one of the best Big Ten interior defenders in Trayce Jackson-Davis.
Indiana is elite at guarding inside the arc, holding opponents to 43.5% on 2-pointers. Even if Cliff Omoruyi is solid, Jackson-Davis will take away his impact on this game.
Rutgers does boast the 41st-best defense, according to KenPom, but its main weakness comes from containing opponents outside the arc. The opposition is shooting 34.5% from 3-point land.
Indiana has not shot the best, but it hits 34.2% of 3-point attempts, so expect more of the same in this one, especially in Bloomington.
Parker Stewart, the Hoosiers’ predominant 3-point threat has over 110 attempts from downtown this season while shooting 42.6%. He could be poised for a strong showing in Bloomington.
Now, Indiana needs to hold Ron Harper Jr. in check. The Hoosiers aren’t as abysmal at guarding the 3 as Rutgers, but Harper has shot around 38% from distance on the season.
Since Indiana is allowing 32.9% of 3s to fall in Big Ten play, this will be crucial to the end result. Once it can eliminate the 3 for Rutgers, open scoring chances for the Knights will be few and far between.
Indiana’s leg up on most teams is its ability to make it to the free-throw line. It ranks 52nd in the NCAA in this category, which will matter when it comes down to crunch time.
The Hoosiers have shot only 68.5% from the stripe on the season, but considering how Rutgers rarely makes appearances at the free-throw line, this should not be as much of an issue. Having the whistles on their side should be an edge for the Hoosiers.
Finally, Indiana likes to play at a much quicker pace than the Scarlet Knights. In order to find comfort down the stretch, it will be in its best interest to keep this up.
If that’s the case, Rutgers could be a bit rattled, considering it plays at one of the slowest tempos in college hoops.
Rutgers vs. Indiana Betting Pick
Neither of these teams will blow fans away on the offensive end, but considering Rutgers’ inability to guard the arc and its struggles on the road, the edge lies with the Hoosiers.
If the Scarlet Knights cannot get anything going internally, it could be a long night again away from Piscataway. Take Indiana at -5 and play to -7.
Pick: Indiana -5 (Play to -7)
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