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Odds & Pick for Indiana vs. Iowa College Basketball: Bet Hawkeyes to Dominate Hoosiers

Odds & Pick for Indiana vs. Iowa College Basketball: Bet Hawkeyes to Dominate Hoosiers article feature image

Ethan Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: CJ Fredrick (left) and Jordan Bohannon (3).

  • The Iowa Hawkeyes and Indiana Hoosiers always seem to have tight matchups, and the two teams will go at it again on Thursday night.
  • In addition to Luka Garza's dominance, the Hawkeyes have shown they have a number of capable 3-point shooters who can cause havoc, which does not bode well for the Hoosiers' defense.
  • Mike Randle breaks down the Big Ten battle below and explains why he's backing the Hawkeyes to pull off the big win.

Indiana vs. Iowa Odds

Indiana Odds
Iowa Odds
Time | TV
Thursday, 9 p.m. ET | FS1
Odds as of Wednesday evening and via BetMGM. Get an INSTANT $500 deposit match at BetMGM today.

Iowa-Indiana clashes have been surprisingly close during the Archie Miller years in Bloomington. Under Miller, the Hoosiers have won 3-of-5 regular-season meetings, with an average losing margin of just 5.5 points. 

But this year, the Hawkeyes and Hoosiers are going in different directions. Iowa is 12-2 overall and tied for first in the conference at 6-1, while the Hoosiers are a middling 8-6 overall and just 3-4 in Big Ten play. 

Can the Hoosiers finally nab a second true road win after close losses at Florida State, Illinois,  and Wisconsin, or are the Hawkeyes simply that much better this year?

The Matchup

Iowa’s Elite Offense

Iowa has one of the most explosive offenses in the country.

The Hawkeyes rank first overall in adjusted offensive efficiency, per KenPom. They’re incredibly efficient from beyond the arc, shooting 39.5% overall, including an incredible 41.9% in their seven Big Ten games. 

Iowa enters this matchup on a five-game win streak and has won each of its three Big Ten home games by an average of exactly 15 points. 

As long as Luka Garza is playing, the Hawkeyes will dominate the offensive boards. Iowa ranks 42nd in offensive rebounding efficiency, led by Garza’s 3.2 per game.

Garza’s dominance is balanced by superior 3-point shooting guards in junior Joe Wieskamp (42.1%), senior Jordan Bohannon (40.6%), and sophomore C.J. Fredrick (51%). Their offense is close to impossible to stop.

In their two losses this year to Gonzaga and Minnesota, the Hawkeyes still managed to score 88 and 95 points, respectively.

Iowa enters this matchup as the most elite offense in the country, the fifth-best offensive turnover ranking, and a 75% free-throw shooting percentage in conference play.

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Indiana’s Defensive Conundrum

The Hoosiers are, in fact, a strong defensive team, ranking 27th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom. However, they have one glaring weakness on defense: defending the 3-pointer.

The Hoosiers rank dead-last in Big Ten play against the 3-ball, allowing opponents to shoot a mind-blowing 40.4% from deep. Even in their only conference road win, they allowed Nebraska to shoot 39.1% (9-of-23) despite ranking second-worst in the conference in 3-point accuracy.

The Hoosiers excel on the defensive boards, ranking first among all Big Ten teams in defensive rebounding efficiency.

However, their defensive style does not facilitate a ton of offensive rebounds, which is where Iowa is vulnerable. The Hawkeyes rank 256th in defensive rebounding rate, even with Garza’s prowess inside.

Head coach Archie Miller will need star forward Trayce Jackson-Davis (20.4 ppg, 8.9 rpg) to limit Garza. But he will also need to serve as the primary scorer for a Hoosiers offense that often struggles to find consistency.

Indiana is not a good outside shooting team, only making 3s at a 32.4% clip. In Big Ten play, it generates 56.9% of their points from inside the arc, the most among all conference teams. The Hoosiers also struggle from the free-throw line, ranking 270th with only 67% accuracy.

Their charity stripe struggles cost them a huge road win at Wisconsin, where they missed key free throws at the end of regulation and overtime.

Sophomore Armaan Franklin (12.8 ppg) returned from injury and scored 14 points against Purdue, but that represented more than three combined starters (Al Durham, Rob Phinisee, and Trey Galloway).

If the Hoosiers are going to stay competitive, they will need a monster game from Garza, their best outside shooting performance, and an elite defense performance. That’s simply too much to ask.

Betting Analysis & Pick

In head coach Fran McCaffery’s 11-year career at Iowa, the Hawkeyes have been a strong ATS bet as home favorites, covering at a 61% rate.

The history between Indiana and Iowa implies this should be a close game, but the talent gap has never been greater. The Hoosiers don’t defend the 3 well enough or have enough offensive firepower to keep this game close.

Pick: Iowa -10.5 (up to Iowa -11.5).

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