Big Ten College Basketball Picks: Indiana Hoosiers at Northwestern Wildcats

Indiana Hoosiers at Northwestern Wildcats
Sunday, January 29, 2017, 6:30 pm Eastern, TV: Big Ten Network
Walsh-Ryan Arena – Evanston, Illinois
Opening Line: Northwestern 6 1/2
Current Line: Northwestern -7 1/2
Opening Total: 146 (under -115)
Opening Total: 145
Opening Money Line: Northwestern -295 / Indiana +235
Current Money Line: Northwestern -350 / Indiana +290

College Football Sportsbook
Northwestern is favored over Indiana Sunday night.

It is well publicized that Northwestern has never qualified for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The Wildcats appear to be in good shape to end that streak as they are 17-4. The Wildcats are 6-2 in the Big Ten and tied for second with Purdue, behind 7-1 Maryland and Wisconsin. The Wildcats host the 14-7 Indiana Hoosiers Sunday night. Indiana is 4-4 in conference and tied with Michigan and Michigan State for third.

Indiana leads the series 114-50 against Northwestern. The Hoosiers have won three of the last four games in the series including 89-57 in Bloomington last season. The two teams will play again in Bloomington February 25.

Indiana is coached by Tom Crean. The Hoosiers have road losses at IP-Fort Wayne, Maryland, and Michigan 90-60 Thursday night, and home losses to Nebraska and Wisconsin. Indiana has neutral site losses to Butler and Louisville both in Indianapolis. The Hoosiers have a neutral site win over Kansas in Honolulu, plus home wins over North Carolina, Illinois, Rutgers, and Michigan State. Indiana has a road win at Penn State. Indiana is 9-9-1 ATS and the total is 11-8 this season. The Hoosiers were 4 point underdogs against Michigan and the total was 145.5.

Northwestern is coached by Chris Collins. The Wildcats have a neutral site loss to Notre Dame in Brooklyn, road losses to Michigan State and Butler, plus a home loss to Minnesota. The Wildcats have won five straight games. Northwestern has neutral site wins over Texas in Brooklyn and Dayton in Chicago. The Wildcats have home wins over Wake Forest, DePaul, Iowa and Nebraska 73-61 Thursday night. Northwestern has road wins over Penn State, Nebraska, Rutgers and Ohio State. The Wildcats are 13-5 ATS and the total is 6-11-1 this season. Northwestern was an 8.5 point favorite against Nebraska and the total was 135.5.

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Indiana is outscoring teams 83-71 this season. The Hoosiers are #19 nationally in scoring. Indiana is shooting 49.9% from the field and 39.4% from three point range. The Hoosiers are #9 in field goal percentage and #25 in three point shooting. Indiana makes 73.1% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 41.7% from the field and 33.2% from three point range. Indiana averages 39.8 rebounds per game and opponents average 27.2 per game. The Hoosiers are #24 or better in both categories nationally. Indiana averages 15.2 assists, 15 turnovers, 6.4 steals and 5.1 blocks per game. Opponents average 10.9 assists, 11.4 turnovers, 6.1 steals and 4 blocks per game.

Guard James Blackmon, Jr. averages 17.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. He is out indefinitely with a leg injury. Robert Johnson averages 14 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Thomas Bryant averages 11.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game. O.G. Anunoby averages 11.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. He is out for the season with a knee injury. Josh Newkirk averages 7.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. Juwan Morgan averages 7.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Four other players get at least 12 minutes a game. Forward Collin Hartman is also out for the season with a knee injury.

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Northwestern is outscoring teams 75-64 this season. The Wildcats are #33 in points allowed nationally. Northwestern is shooting 44.1% from the field and 36.3% from three point range. The Wildcats are #17 in free throw shooting making 76.5% from the line. Opponents are shooting 38.6% from the field and 30.4% from three point range. The Wildcats are #16 or better in both categories. Northwestern averages 38.6 rebounds per game and opponents average 32.3 per game. The Wildcats average 17.4 assists, 11 turnovers, 5.1 steals and 6.2 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.5 assists, 12.3 turnovers, 5.6 steals and 3.9 blocks per game.

Scottie Lindsay averages 15.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.1 steals. Vic Law averages 14.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2 assists. Bryant McIntosh averages 12.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game. Derek Pardon averages 8.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 2.7 blocks per game. Gavin Skelly averages 7.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.7 blocks per game. Isiah Brown averages 7 points and 1.4 assists per game. Sanjay Lumpkin averages 6.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. Forwards Aaron Falzon and Rapolas Ivanauskas are both out for the season.

Indiana is 6-1 ATS in Sunday games, 6-2 after a straight up loss, 25-10 after failing to cover, 0-5 after a straight up loss of 20 points or more, 0-3-1 in road games, and 0-4-1 against teams with winning home records. The under is 6-2 overall in this series, but the over is 7-3 in Evanston between the teams recently.

Northwestern is 5-0 ATS in Sunday games and against Big Ten teams, 4-0 after a cover, and against teams with winning records, 6-1 against teams with losing road records, 8-2 at home, 17-5 overall, 6-2 as a home favorite, 22-8-1 after a straight up win, and 19-7 as a favorite. The Wildcats are 18-6 ATS against the Hoosiers recently, including 10-2 at home.

Indiana was destroyed in their last game against Michigan. Northwestern not only has their eyes on a tournament berth but also has a chance at a Big ten title as well. This is the kind of game they can’t afford to lose, as Indiana is without two of their best players. I like Northwestern to win convincingly.

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