College Basketball Odds & Pick for Indiana vs. Northwestern: Hold Your Nose, Bet the Wildcats
Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Chase Audige.
- In dire need of a win to boost its NCAA Tournament resume, Indiana takes on Northwestern on Wednesday.
- The Wildcats have struggled mightily since a strong start to the season that saw them break into the AP Top 25.
- Tanner McGrath isn't excited about it, but he's backing Northwestern at home against the Hoosiers.
Indiana vs. Northwestern Odds
|Moneyline||-171 / +145|
|Time | TV||5:30 p.m. ET | Big Ten Network|
|Odds as of Wednesday afternoon and via PointsBet, where you can get $250 FREE instantly after signing up AND your bets automatically sync to the Action app.|
The Indiana Hoosiers really need a win on Wednesday night.
Indiana is right on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament. Considering Northwestern’s struggles over the last month, an Indiana loss would be a crushing blow to its tournament resume.
The Hoosiers should be fresh and motivated for this game. However, I have doubts Indiana has the edge in this one.
When Northwestern beat Indiana on Dec. 23, Northwestern was 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten. Three days later, the Wildcats defeated Ohio State and were No. 18 in the AP Top 25.
Since then, Chris Collins’ team has been in total free fall.
Northwestern has lost nine straight games, going 2-7 against the spread (ATS) in those nine losses. The Wildcats are now second-to-last in the conference, above only Nebraska, and are last in the conference in defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.
The Wildcats can’t stop anybody. They rank outside the top-200 in opponent effective field goal percentage and are allowing 73.7 points per game.
Northwestern’s offensive numbers are moderately better, but its top scorers aren’t overly efficient. In fact, Chase Audige is scoring his 12.1 points per game on less than 40% shooting.
The moral of the story: Northwestern has played really poorly. Indiana, meanwhile, has been only moderately better.
The Hoosiers are now 10-8 overall and 5-6 in conference play. Indiana is eighth in the Ben Ten and right on the bubble for a tournament bid.
However, Indiana has had some successes. It’s 11-7 ATS this season and just defeated Iowa twice, once on the road and once at home.
The brightest spot for head coach Archie Miller this season has been the play of Trayce Jackson-Davis. The sophomore is averaging 20 points and 9.2 rebounds per game while shooting 52% from the field. He has scored 20 or more points 10 times this season and has recorded 10 or more rebounds seven times.
Standing 6-foot-9 at 245 pounds, Jackson-Davis is a phenomenal two-way player. He scores at volume with efficiency, is a monster on the boards and is averaging 1.8 blocks per game. To me, Jackson-Davis is the third-best player in the Big Ten Conference and one of the top 10 in the country.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Every bone in my body is telling me to fade Northwestern here again.
However, the betting trends don’t back that up.
Northwestern is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games against Indiana, and the Wildcats are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games against Indiana at home. Moreover, Northwestern has won its last three against the Hoosiers at home.
Miller has struggled against Collins. Miller is just 3-3 SU and 1-5 ATS against Collins and the Wildcats in his career.
Indiana is 11-7 ATS on the season but has covered in just two of its last five games. Meanwhile, Northwestern has covered in two of its last three games and played really well at times against Purdue.
The Hoosiers are heading on the road after a three-game home stint and a huge win over Iowa. Plus, the Wildcats have been playing slightly better in recent games. This feels like both a bounce-back spot for the Wildcats and a letdown spot for an Indiana team whose head coach struggles against Northwestern.
Against my better judgment, I will be betting Northwestern at +2.5 or better.
Pick: Northwestern +3.5 (down to +2.5)