Minnesota Golden Gophers at Nebraska Cornhuskers
Pinnacle Bank Arena – Lincoln, Nebraska
Sunday, January 26, 2014, 6:00 pm Eastern, TV: Big Ten Network
Opening Line: Nebraska -1
Current Line: Nebraska pick
Opening Total: 138
Current Total: 135 1/2
Opening Money Line: Nebraska -120 / Minnesota +100
Current Money Line: Nebraska -120 / Minnesota +100
The 15-5 Minnesota Golden Gophers travel to the 9-9 Nebraska Cornhuskers Sunday evening. Minnesota is tied for fourth in the Big Ten at 4-3 with Wisconsin. Nebraska is 1-5 in conference and ahead of only Penn State. The Golden Gophers lead the series 52-16 against the Cornhuskers. The two teams split the two meetings last season with each winning at home. Minnesota won in Minneapolis 84-65 and Nebraska won 53-51 in Lincoln.
Minnesota is coached by Richard Pitino. The Golden Gophers have losses to Syracuse and Arkansas in the Maui Invitational, at home to Michigan, at Michigan State and at Iowa. Minnesota has key wins at home over Lehigh, Montana, Florida State, South Dakota State, Purdue, Ohio State and Wisconsin 81-68 Wednesday. The Gophers have road wins over Richmond and Penn State. Minnesota is 7-8-1 ATS and the total is 7-7-1 this season.
Minnesota is outscoring teams 75-68 this season. The Golden Gophers are shooting 44.5% from the field and 34.9% from 3 point range. Minnesota is #14 nationally in free throw shooting at 75.6% from the line. Gopher opponents are shooting 41.7% from the field and 31.1% from 3 point range. Minnesota averages 36.6 rebounds per game and opponents average 30.6. The Golden Gophers average 14.2 assists, 11.8 turnovers, 8.3 steals and 4.9 blocks per game. Opponents average 12.7 assists, 13.2 turnovers, 5.5 steals, and 4.4 blocks per game.
Minnesota guard Andre Hollins averages 16.2 points, 4 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. He is doubtful with an ankle injury. Guard Austin Hollins (not related) averages 11.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Guard Deandre Mathieu averages 11.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Guard Malik Smith averages 9.6 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists. Forward Oto Osenieks (from Latvia) averages 7 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Center Elliott Eliason averages 6.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game. Joey King and Maurice Walker will also get significant minutes in the rotation. Forward Charles Buggs is questionable with an ankle injury but he averages less than 5 minutes a game.
Nebraska is coached by Tim Miles. The Cornhuskers have losses to Massachusetts and UAB in a tournament in Charleston, Creighton, Cincinnati, Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan, Purdue, and Thursday at Penn State 58-54. Nebraska has lost six of their last seven games. All losses except Michigan were on the road. The Cornhuskers have key wins over Georgia in Charleston, Northern Illinois, Miami-(FL), Arkansas State and Ohio State. Nebraska is 10-7 ATS and the total is 8-9 this season.
Nebraska is outscoring teams 68-67 this season. The Cornhuskers are shooting 42.9% from the field and 34% from 3 point range. Nebraska makes 71.1% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 43.8% from the field and 31.6% from 3 point range. The Cornhuskers average 34.2 rebounds per game and opponents average 31.3 per game. Nebraska averages 9.9 assists, 11.3 turnovers, 7.3 steals and 3 blocks per game. Opponents average 11 assists, 12.7 turnovers, 5.2 steals and 3.3 blocks per game.
Forward Terran Petteway averages 17.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1 steal per game. Guard Shavon Shields averages 11.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. Guard Deverell Biggs averages 9.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1 steal per game. Guard Ray Gallegos averages 8.1 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists. Forward Walter Pitchford averages 7.9 points, and 4.4 rebounds per game. Forward Leslee Smith averages 7.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. Guard Tai Webster averages 5.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1 steal per game. David rivers and Benny parker will also get significant time in the rotation.
Minnesota is 17-36 ATS in Sunday games, 4-9-1 overall, 5-12-1 against Big Ten teams, 3-10 against teams with winning home records, 1-4 in road games, 1-5-1 after a straight up win, 1-5 after a cover, The underdog is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 games in this series. The Golden Gophers have covered 4 of the last 5 games against the Cornhuskers.
Nebraska is 4-0 ATS overall and against Big Ten teams, 11-2-1 at home, 4-1 in Sunday games, and against teams with winning records, and 18-7-1 after a straight up loss.
Normally, Minnesota would be at least a 4 point favorite even on the road against Nebraska, but without the dynamic Andre Hollins they might struggle to score. Nebraska is a decent defensive team, and they did beat Ohio State last Monday in Lincoln. Still I think Minnesota finds a way to escape with a win.