Big Ten College Basketball Picks: Michigan Wolverines at Indiana Hoosiers

Michigan Wolverines at Indiana Hoosiers
Assembly Hall – Bloomington, Indiana
Sunday, February 8, 2015, 1:00 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Opening Line: Indiana -7
Current Line: Indiana -7 1/2
Opening Total: 138
Current Total: 135 1/2
Opening Money Line: Indiana -340 / Michigan +280
Current Money Line: Indiana -360 / Michigan +300

Michigan travels to indiana Sunday in a battle of underachieving Big Ten teams.
Michigan travels to Indiana Sunday in a battle of underachieving Big Ten teams.

The Wisconsin Badgers are clearly the class of a parity driven Big Ten conference this season. The Badgers lead the conference with a 9-1 record and every other team has at least 3 conference losses. Eight of the fourteen teams have between 4 and 6 conference losses. Two of  those teams meet Sunday as the 16-7 Indiana Hoosiers host the 13-10 Michigan Wolverines in Bloomington. The Hoosiers are tied for fourth at 6-4 with Ohio State and Michigan State. The Wolverines are tied for 8th with Illinois at 6-5.

Indiana leads the series against Michigan 104-57, including 65-13 in Bloomington. Michigan hasn’t won in Bloomington since 2009, and that was the only win for Michigan on the road in the last 20 years in the series. . The two teams split the season series last year with each winning at home. The Hoosiers won in Bloomington 63-52 and the Wolverines won 84-80 in Ann Arbor. This is the only scheduled meeting between Indiana and Michigan this season.

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Michigan is coached by John Beilein. The Wolverines have a neutral site loss to Villanova in Brooklyn, home losses to NJIT, Eastern Michigan, SMU, Wisconsin and Iowa Thursday 72-54. Michigan has road losses to Arizona, Purdue, Ohio State, and Michigan State. The Wolverines have lost 3 of their last 4 games including two straight. Michigan has key home wins over Bucknell, Detroit, Syracuse, Illinois, Minnesota, Northwestern, and Nebraska. The Wolverines have a neutral site win over Oregon in Brooklyn, plus road wins over Penn State and Rutgers. Michigan is 9-12 ATS and the total is 8-12 this season. The Wolverines were 2 point underdogs against Iowa and the total was 120.5.

Indiana is coached by Tom Crean. The Hoosiers have a home loss to Eastern Washington, neutral site losses to Louisville and Georgetown both at Madison Square Garden, and  road losses to Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin 92-78 Tuesday . Indiana has lost 3 of their last 4 games. The Hoosiers have home wins over Texas Southern, SMU, Pittsburgh, Ohio State, Penn State, Maryland and Rutgers. Indiana has a neutral site win over Butler in Indianapolis, plus road wins over Nebraska and Illinois. The Hoosiers are 11-11 ATS and the total is 16-5 this season. Indiana was a 16 point underdog against Wisconsin and the total was 144.5.

Michigan is outscoring teams 64-62 this season. The Wolverines are shooting 41.5% from the field and 35.1% from 3 point range. Michigan makes 74.6% of their free throws and are #18 nationally in that category. Opponents are shooting 44.1% from the field and 34% from 3 point range. The Wolverines averages 31.2 rebounds per game and opponents average 31.6. Michigan averages 11.8 assists, 9.9 turnovers per game, 5.6 steals and 1.8 blocks per game. Opponents average 12.7 assists, 12.8 turnovers, 4.7 steals and 2.9 blocks per game.

Guard Caris LaVert averages 14.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.8 steals per game. He is out for the season with a broken foot.  Zak Irvin averages 13.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1 assist per game. Guard Derrick Wallon, Jr. averages 10.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.2 steals per game. He is out indefinitely with turf toe. Ricky Doyle averages 6.2 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. Spike Albrecht averages 5.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. Aubrey Dawkins, Max Bielfeldt, Mark Donnal, Kameron Chatman, and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman will also get minutes in the rotation. Donnal is questionable with the flu.

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Indiana is outscoring teams 80-73 this season. The Hoosiers are #10 nationally in scoring but #320 out of 353 teams in points allowed. Indiana is shooting 47.9% from the field including 41% from 3 point range. The Hoosiers are in the top 25 nationally in both categories. Indiana makes 72.7% of their free throws and is #45 nationally in that category. Opponents are shooting 45.3% from the field and 32.3% from 3 point range. Indiana averages 36.6 rebounds a game and opponents average 30.7 per game. The Hoosiers average 13.8 assists, 11.7 turnovers, 5.1 steals and 3.2 blocks per game. Opponents average 12.8 assists, 10.9 turnovers, 6.7 steals and 4.2 blocks per game.

Forward James Blackmon, Jr. averages 16.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists. Yogi Ferrell averages 16 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. Troy Williams averages 13 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Robert Johnson averages 9.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1 steal per game. Hanner Mosquera-Perea averages 7.4 points, 5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. He is out until mid-February with a knee injury. Nick Zeisloft, Collin Hartman, Emmitt Holt, and Stanford Robinson will also get time in the rotation. Forward Devin Davis is out for the season with a concussion.

Michigan is 4-1 ATS against teams with winning records, overall and in Big Ten games, 10-3 after a double digit home loss and 37-18-1 after a straight up loss. The underdog is 5-2 ATS in this series recently. The over is 6-1 in the last 7 games in Bloomington in the series.

Indiana is 6-0 ATS after allowing more than 90 points, 4-1 in Sunday games, 6-2 at home, 5-12 against teams with losing road records, and 4-11 after a cover. Indiana is 20-6-1 ATS against Michigan recently including 6-1 in Bloomington.

Both of these teams are on the bubble at best for the NCAA Tournament. Indiana is in better shape than Michigan but both are banged up with injuries to key players. Both teams have lost 3 of their last 4 games. I think Indiana breaks out of their slump and wins comfortably at home.

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