College Basketball Odds & Pick for Indiana vs. Rutgers: Expect Plenty Of Points in Crucial Big Ten Showdown
Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Indiana Hoosier star Trayce Jackson-Davis.
- Rutgers welcomes Indiana to The RAC on Wednesday for this Big 10 game falling on the Scarlet Knights' Senior Night.
- Rutgers won the first meeting, 74-70, earlier this season at Indiana.
- Andrew Norton breaks things down and explains why he expects the offenses to shine below.
Indiana vs. Rutgers Odds
|Moneyline||+145 / -175|
|Time | TV||Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET | BTN|
Part two of a Big Ten matchup between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Indiana Hoosiers takes place Wednesday. The first game was a tight game, with the Scarlet Knights earning a 74-70 victory.
The sense of urgency, particularly from Indiana, will certainly be exponentially increased as it might be playing for its postseason tournament life. Meanwhile, it’s Senior Night for the Scarlet Knights, so the stakes are inherently raised. It goes without saying no one likes losing on Senior Night.
I’m expecting intensity from both teams, an excess of fouls and free throws, and Indiana to shoot better from the floor than the last time they played.
Sense of Urgency
According to TeamRankings, Rutgers has a 94% chance of getting an NCAA bid, while Indiana has dropped significantly to 67% after a bad loss against the worst Michigan State squad in years.
Indiana can’t really afford to lose this game if it wants a bid, because its next three games are against third-ranked Michigan, Michigan State and arch-rival Purdue, which it hasn’t beaten in five years.
Realistically, the Hoosiers need to win two of these next four games (maybe even three) to feel like a shoo-in for the tournament. That should put a huge sense of urgency into an Indiana squad that has had a rollercoaster season.
The Scarlet Knights also have something to play for, regardless of their already strong resume, being that it’s Senior Night. Also, Rutgers announced it will allow the players’ parents to attend the game.
For some of these kids, it could potentially mean their last game at the RAC. That is something worth fighting for, too.
Indiana is powered by dynamic sophomore power forward Trayce Jackson-Davis. He is putting up All-American stats, averaging 20.2 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.
Jackson-Davis holds a 28.39 PER (player efficiency rating), which puts him at 30th in the nation in that metric, per ESPN. His importance to this team cannot be overstated.
Another key component for the Hoosiers is sophomore guard Armaan Franklin, who has exploded this year to average 12.2 points per game. In contrast, he averaged just 3.7 points last season. Race Thompson (9.9 PPG, 6.4 RPG) is also a strong counterpart to Jackson-Davis and makes up the rest of Indiana’s strong frontcourt.
The Hoosiers’ most glaring issue is their inconsistent guard play. A perfect example came in their last game against Michigan State. Jackson-Davis had a Herculean performance with 34 points and nine rebounds, but due to atrocious guard play, the Hoosiers dropped the bout.
If Indiana wants a real shot at winning this game, it has to shoot much better inside the arc and find consistent guard play between Franklin, Rob Phinisee and the supporting cast.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Rutgers is a strong team with four Quad 1 wins on the year, plus it has an incredible defense that ranks 14th in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency (per KenPom).
Myles Johnson controls and disrupts shots in the paint, while Jacob Young and company patrol the perimeter. The Scarlet Knights have a great general in Geo Baker, along with a solid scoring threat in Ron Harper Jr.
Rutgers has a legitimate chance to become the first team from the program to make the tournament since 1991, and I have a feeling it could make a run come March.
Betting Analysis & Pick
When these teams faced off in January, Rutgers came out victorious on the road. With the total currently set at 132.5 points, I feel like this line is a bit deficient.
These teams have a lot to play for and I don’t think either will go down without a fight. That leads me to my next point, which is how poorly Indiana shot the ball the first time they saw each other. The Hoosiers made just 35% of their attempts inside of the arc, largely due to Myles Johnson’s excellent shot-blocking and shot-altering skills.
I expect there to be a lot more free throws than 34 as well. My next observation is Indiana has only played in one game out of its last 11 that resulted in less than 133 points.
For that reason, the over is a very strong pick.
Pick: Over 133 (Play to 136).