Iowa vs. Rutgers College Basketball Odds & Picks: Saturday’s Betting Value Lies On Over/Under
Mitchell Layton/Getty Image. Pictured: Luka Garza.
- Senior star Luka Garza leads the Hawkeyes into a top-15 matchup against Rutgers in Big Ten play.
- The Scarlet Knights have a star of their own in guard Ron Harper Jr., who is averaging 23.4 points per game, but he missed the team's last game against Purdue.
- Check out Tanner McGrath's full betting preview below to find out why he sees value on Saturday's total.
Iowa vs. Rutgers Odds
|Iowa Odds||-3 [BET NOW]|
|Rutgers Odds||+3 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-165 / +140 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||159 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 2 p.m. ET|
Big Ten play rolls on this weekend, as the Iowa Hawkeyes head to Piscataway to play the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
Iowa boasts the No. 1 offense in the country, per KenPom, while Rutgers is having a stellar season behind a great defense and Ron Harper Jr.
Rutgers managed a great win against Purdue without him, while Iowa recently suffered a bad overtime loss to Minnesota.
As with every Big Ten matchup, I’m really excited for this game. You should be, too, because in order for Rutgers to be competitive with Iowa, it’s going to have to score. That opens up some value on the total.
Everyone knows what Iowa is about.
Its offense is one of the best. Luka Garza scores 27.7 points per game, its shooters are hitting 37.2% of its 28.8 3-point attempts per game and it’s scoring 94.3 points per game, which ranks fourth in the nation.
However, I think people are sleeping on Rutgers.
Steve Pikiell’s squad is well-coached and uber-talented. The Scarlet Knights sport a 7-1 record (3-1 Big Ten) with wins over Syracuse, Maryland, Illinois and Purdue. They should have beaten Ohio State, but that’s a story for another day.
The win over Purdue was important. The Scarlet Knights don’t want to fall behind in Harper’s absence, and other players have stepped up in his place. Geo Baker, Jacob Young and Montez Mathis combined for 57 points and nine assists.
I think the most intriguing factor for this game is Iowa’s defense. The Hawkeyes aren’t unbeatable, and it’s mostly because of their production on the defensive end. They sit 96th in defensive efficiency, per KenPom, and are allowing a 48.1 effective field goal percentage. They gave up 102 points to Minnesota, 99 to Gonzaga and 80 to North Carolina.
If Rutgers is going to stay competitive with Iowa, it has to exploit Iowa’s exploitable defense. I am fairly confident in the Scarlet Knight offense without Harper because it will share the ball and avoid isolation offense.
We know Iowa is going to score. Garza will score 30, it will take and make a lot of 3s and it’ll tally a lot of assists. The Hawkeye assist numbers are tremendous, as they’re averaging 21.4 assists per game with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.28.
Betting Analysis & Pick
In this matchup, I’m banking on points, points, points.
The Iowa offense is very good, which will force Rutgers to score to stay competitive, and I like its chances against the Hawkeye defense. Additionally, all the trends point towards the over in this spot.
- The over is 5-2 in Iowa’s last seven road games.
- The over is 4-1 in Rutgers’ last five games.
- The over is 4-1 in the past five games between Iowa and Rutgers.
The total opened at 159 and has since moved to 158.5. That’s high, but given everything I’ve laid out, I still like it at that spot.
Picking a side in this game is too tough. It will be super competitive, and I would probably back Rutgers if it had Harper.
I don’t think the Scarlet Knights will have a guy who can go bucket-for-bucket with Garza down the stretch if it comes to that.
Instead, I’m going to play the over in this spot. I’m trusting that Pikiell’s offense will keep up with Garza and company in an exciting high-scoring matchup.
I would play the over at 160 or better.
Pick: Over 159 (up to 160).