Indiana vs. Iowa Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide

Indiana vs. Iowa Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide article feature image

Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Miller Kopp (Indiana)

  • Iowa hosts Indiana as it looks to break out of a major slump on Thursday.
  • The Hawkeyes have lost three straight, including a defeat against Eastern Illinois and a blowout at the hands of Nebraska.
  • Will they bounce back here? Shane McNichol breaks it all down.

Indiana vs. Iowa Odds

Thursday, Jan. 5
9 p.m. ET
Indiana Odds
-115o / -105u
Iowa Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

We've reached an interesting point in the college basketball calendar.

Conference play is underway, with each team's fate starting to take shape. There is, however, plenty of time for teams to re-write that destiny.

Indiana is a good team, yet doesn't quite have the resume to consider itself among the handful of squads jockeying atop the polls, though a road win in Iowa City would certainly help.

Iowa is looking to slow down a skid, having lost six of its last nine games, including three straight.

There's plenty to play for in this Big Ten battle, as always. Which team looks poised to collect a big win Thursday night?

Indiana Hoosiers

Halfway through the second year of Mike Woodson's tenure as the head coach in Bloomington, Hoosiers fans have to be pleased. After a tournament berth last season, Indiana is a top-25 team by most models, ranking in the top 30 both offensively and defensively.

The Hoosiers have only three losses, all to teams ranked 16th or higher by KenPom. Two of those losses were true road games and the third was a neutral-site loss to the highly-ranked Arizona Wildcats.

Trayce Jackson-Davis remains the highlight for the Hoosiers, with a unique game not often seen in 2023. Jackson-Davis is an inside scoring big man, but far from a rim-running roll man.

He's best with the ball in his hands and some room to work, isolating with his back to the basket or facing up with a defender. He's a good passer out of double teams and a great finisher on both sides of the basket.

Woodson surrounds Jackson-Davis with complementary pieces. Miller Kopp is an elite outside shooter who creates space. Race Thompson is a deft cutting big man who works in tandem with Jackson-Davis on the blocks.

The key addition this season, though, has been freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino. He's quickly acclimated to high-level college basketball, posting 10.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.

If he can avoid the turnover issue that plagues so many freshman guards, Hood-Schifino can elevate Indiana's ceiling. That's been a mixed bag so far, matching his 43 assists with 31 turnovers.

Jackson-Davis, though, will remain the bellwether for Indiana's success. In wins this season, he's shooting 71% from the field. In three losses, that mark plummets to 49%.

He's been bothered by a back injury and missed the last two games, but Indiana hasn't played since December 23.

He should be fresh and ready to go.

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Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa's season has turned towards turmoil.

Star forward Kris Murray missed four games due to injury, including two losses. The final game of Murray's absence was a home loss to Eastern Illinois, among the 15 worst-rated teams in the country by KenPom.

Since losing that game, Iowa dropped two straight conference tilts, losing at Nebraska and Penn State.

Early this week, things became more difficult for the Hawkeyes, with Patrick McCaffery stepping away from the program due to anxiety issues.

Like many prior Iowa teams coached by Fran McCaffery, there's a clear rubric for this team to succeed.

Murray is capable of stardom, following in his brother Keegan's footsteps from last season. He has three 30+ point games and four double-doubles already this season, including a dominant 31-point, 20-rebound game against Georgia Tech.

Murray is surrounded by capable creators and shooters, with all of the Hawkeyes excelling at taking care of the ball. It can be a joy to watch Iowa offensively.

Defensively? Different story.

Iowa ranks 111th in defensive efficiency, second-worst among Big Ten teams. Allowing Eastern Illinois to score 92 points on 1.13 points per possession was the perfect encapsulation of this team's issues on that end of the floor.

Iowa runs teams off the 3-point line, but lacks the rim protection and help defense to stop attackers once they penetrate.

Indiana vs. Iowa Betting Pick

Prepping this article, I was ready to make a case for the Hawkeyes as a home underdog, citing their success in that spot in recent years.

The bookmakers were likely well aware of the difficulty opposing teams have in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Since 2014, Iowa is 79-53-4 ATS as the home team, among the best marks in college basketball.

Given the state of the Hawkeyes, however, I'm reticent to support them without the added bump of a point spread. Iowa really struggles to make life difficult for opponents in the paint.

That is music to Jackson-Davis' ears.

Murray will try to outscore him on the other end, but after 40 minutes, I struggle to see Iowa getting enough stops. It's scary taking a road team in Big Ten play, but the Hoosiers are the better side and come in with nearly two weeks worth of fresh legs.

I lean their way, unless the line sees a major shift (to something like Iowa +3.5).

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