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College Basketball Odds & Picks for Minnesota vs. Michigan: How to Bet Saturday’s Big Ten Battle

College Basketball Odds & Picks for Minnesota vs. Michigan: How to Bet Saturday’s Big Ten Battle article feature image

Nic Antaya/Getty Images. Pictured: Hunter Dickinson.

  • Big Ten action rolls into the night when the Michigan Wolverines take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
  • The Wolverines enter as huge favorites, according to updated odds, and should be able to finish the job, according to Kody Malstrom.
  • Check out Malstrom's top bet for the game below.

Minnesota vs. Michigan Odds

Saturday, Dec. 11
6:30 p.m. ET
Minnesota Odds
-115o / -105u
Michigan Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The biggest knock on Michigan so far this season was its lack of offense.

I made my Action Network college basketball debut by bringing this to light in the write up against Nebraska. I mapped out how they would turn it around and roll the Cornhuskers, and boy, was I right.

But that’s the past, and the only thing that matters to a bettor is the next bet.

The Wolverines go against a tougher test in Minnesota, as the Golden Gophers rank better in both adjusted offensive efficiency and adjusted defensive efficiency in comparison to Nebraska — especially on the defensive end.

Did Michigan finally find the offensive production it was looking for, or will Minnesota bring it crashing back to earth?

Let’s find out.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Minnesota saw its perfect season come to an end in its last game out against Michigan State. Now sitting at 7-1, it will look to get back on track at Michigan.

While the schedule has been fairly easy, it was still a shock that Minnesota managed to win out. This is a team that lost its top six scorers from last season.

The offense took a dip as expected, ranking 128th in AdjO, per KenPom. Not all hope is lost in the scoring department, though, as they rely on a two-headed dragon in Jamison Battle and Payton Willis.

Battle leads the team at 17.8 PGG, while Willis brings in another 16.4. They have a third double-digit scorer in EJ Stephens,  who contributes 10.6 PPG.

This offense is heavily run by Battle and Willis, especially from deep. Only four players have made a 3 all season, ranking near dead last in the Big Ten in 3-pointers attempted.

Minnesota will need to find some outside offense, as it will struggle to score on the inside with Michigan big man Hunter Dickinson anchoring the paint and forcing bad shots down low.

While the offense may struggle to play spaced out, its defense will need to focus on collapsing down low. Michigan relies heavily on the production of inside-outside play with Dickinson on the block, hitting outside shooters or cutters in transition when double-teamed.

This may be too much to ask out of the Gophers, but it does need to be remembered that Michigan has struggled on offense nearly all season.

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Michigan Wolverines

Michigan saw a resurgence of offense in its last game out, shattering its season-high in points scored by dropping 102 points against Nebraska.

Highly-rated recruit Caleb Houstan took a much-needed step forward for the offense by scoring 16 points, securing six rebounds, and dishing out three assists. If Michigan wants to be a formidable offensive unit, it will need more players like Houstan to keep this level of play up.

Houstan wasn’t the only one to find offensive success, as both Terrance Williams II and Brandon Johns Jr. both scored over 20 points each. Dickinson had himself a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Seeing success all around, Michigan will look to keep this up against the 60th-ranked team in AdjD.

While the offense is seeing a much-needed resurgence, the defense has remained elite all season. This is a unit that is near top-10 in AdjD, per KenPom.

In its last game out, it held Nebraska to 5-of-35 shooting on 3-pointers (14.3%) and 23-of-72 (31.9%).

With few scoring options for the Golden Gophers and a lack of outside shooting, it may be a long night for Minnesota.

Minnesota vs. Michigan Betting Pick

The 2020 Michigan team is back. Hopefully.

While Nebraska is not a good measuring stick, it must also be mentioned that the Michigan offense had a good showing against San Diego State’s defense in the game before.

With players not named Dickinson and Brooks stepping up, the versatility of this offense is coming to life and creating more opportunities to hit the open shooter.

Minnesota simply lost too much scoring production to be able to compete against Michigan this year. With only two real threats, Michigan can scheme to lock them down and dare the others to shoot.

With the lowest 3-point rate in the Big Ten, Minnesota will find it tough to have success in the paint against Dickinson.

Expect Michigan to roll over Minnesota as it starts to show why it will compete with Purdue for the Big Ten title down the road.

Pick: Michigan -14.5

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