Sunday’s College Basketball Betting Preview: Minnesota-Rutgers; Canisius-Iona

Sunday’s College Basketball Betting Preview: Minnesota-Rutgers; Canisius-Iona article feature image

Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Montez Mathis (23), Minnesota Golden Gophers forward Jordan Murphy (3).

With just two games featuring ranked teams on tap for Sunday, we take a look at two under-the-radar rematches in the MAAC and Big Ten: Canisius-Iona and Minnesota-Rutgers.

Let’s break it down.

>> All odds as of Sunday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NCAAB odds and win probabilities on your bets.

Betting Odds: Canisius Golden Griffins at Iona Gaels

  • Spread: Iona -6
  • Over/Under: 151
  • Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN+

Canisius (13-14) is in first place atop the MAAC Conference, just a half-game ahead of Rider and Iona. However, they lost to Iona 88-70 at home on Jan. 13 and are only 10-12-1 overall against the spread.

Iona (12-15) has won five games in a row, and have topped 80 points in each of their past two games.  The Gaels are 7-3 at home and have covered their last four games ATS.

Since the beginning of MAAC conference play, Canisius has struggled defensively. Within conference games, the Golden Griffins rank second worst in effective field goal percentage and 2-point percentage. They are also poor on the boards, rankings ninth in defensive rebounding.

In their first meeting this year, Canisius allowed Iona to shoot 53.6% from the field and 53.8% from beyond the arc. The Golden Griffins also played that game with second-leading scorer Isaiah Reese (11.8 ppg) who is now suspended from the team indefinitely.

Iona has been solid defensively within the conference. The Gaels rank third in effective field goal percentage allowed and first in 2-point percentage allowed.

The Gaels offense is also much improved. They have returned to their usual high efficient levels ranking second overall in adjusted offensive efficiency and 2-point percentage. Iona is also first in the MAAC in free throw percentage at an average of 75% per contest.

Iona head coach Tim Cluess has the Gaels primed for another run in the MAAC Conference Tournament. The Gaels have been the conference representative in the NCAA Tournament for three straight seasons. They will take a big step towards that goal again with a big home win over Canisius.

THE PICK: Iona -6

Betting Odds: Minnesota Golden Gophers at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

  • Spread: PK
  • Over/Under: 136
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: BTN

Minnesota (17-10) heads to Piscataway having lost three consecutive Big Ten road games.

They are 7-9 in conference and defeated Rutgers 88-70 on Jan. 12. The Golden Gophers are a miserable 1-7 in true road games and 13-11 overall ATS.

Rutgers (12-14) has continued to battle all season despite having a 5-11 conference record. The Scarlet Knights are 13-10 overall ATS but have covered their last four Big Ten games.

Minnesota’s only conference road win was at Wisconsin on Jan. 3. They struggle in all offensive areas ranking 263rd in effective field goal percentage, 218th in 2P%, 289th in free throw percentage, and 298th in 3-point accuracy. In their last four road games, Minnesota has totaled 42.9% from the field and 30.5% on 3-pointers.

Rutgers ranks Top-50 in adjusted defensive efficiency and 2-point percentage allowed. Despite losing their last two games, they have held their opponents (Iowa and Michigan State) to  43.1% from the field.

The Scarlet Knights are strong on the offensive boards, ranking 35th in the country in offensive rebounding percentage.

On offense, Rutgers has seen increased production across the board. Freshman Ron Harper Jr. (7.1 ppg) has averaged 13.5 points and is shooting 55.5% on 3s in his last two games.  Also, 6-foot-10 freshman Myles Johnson (4.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg) has averaged 7.5 points, 1.5 blocks, and two steals per game over that same span.

Rutgers is playing their best basketball of the season, especially at home. Minnesota has lost five of their last six games and hasn’t earned a road win in almost two months.  Follow the trends and pick the Scarlet Knights.

THE PICK:  Rutgers PK