Michigan has hit a little bit of a skid heading into the January 17th NCAAB free pick, losing 3 of the last 6. Things don’t get any easier on Friday with a trip to Carver-Hawkeye where Iowa has gone 9-1 on the year. Iowa has climbed to #24 in the rankings, and will continue to rise with a victory over the 20th ranked Wolverines.
Michigan Has Had the Hawkeyes’ Number Lately
The Wolverines aren’t a bad wager as +5 point road underdogs on Friday night. Michigan already has a win over Iowa this season, 103-91 on December 6th with UM a -7 point favorite at the Crisler Center. It was the Wolverines 2nd straight win over Iowa, and their 5th in the last 6 head-to-head meetings.
Michigan has dropped 3 of 6 however, albeit against a couple good teams in Oregon and Michigan State. It was the Wolverines’ 67-75 loss at Minnesota on Sunday that has bettors weary at Iowa in the January 17th NCAAB free pick. The Wolverines have now gone 1-4 on the road this season.
Michigan does have that 103 output vs. Iowa earlier which shows they match up well with the Hawkeyes defense. Six Wolverines players scored at least a dozen points in that tilt led by Franz Wagner’s 18. Isaiah Livers had 14 points in the 1st matchup with Iowa, but could miss Friday’s game with a groin injury. Michigan is 2-2 in Livers’ absence.
Iowa On a Roll Lately
The Hawkeyes did give up 103 points to Michigan back in December but their defense has been much better as of late. Iowa has won 6 of 8 since the lost to the Wolverines holding Minnesota to 52 points, Maryland to 49, and Northwestern to 62 over that span.
Luka Garza dominated in the matchup with Michigan last month, scoring 44 points while putting up 32 shots. Garza continues to be a dominant force putting up 27 points in the win over Northwestern on Tuesday. Garza’s lines in the previous four games were 21/13, 16/18, 34/12, and 25/8.
Iowa did start the 2020 calendar year with two straight losses though. They were upended 86-89 by a good Penn State team but then lost 70-76 at Nebraska as -8 point favorites. Those were both on the road though and Iowa’s only home loss this season was way back in game two, 78-93 to Depaul.
January 17th NCAAB Free Pick
Iowa has been picking things up on the defensive end the last two games, holding Minnesota to 49 points and Northwestern 62. Michigan has scored 84+ in 4 of their last 5 however. The Wolverines haven’t fared very well on the road this season though and being without Livers has definitely hurt them. Iowa (and their fans) is amped up after climbing into the rankings and will only continue to climb with a win over #20 Michigan. The Hawkeyes know about their recent struggles vs. as well and have a tough loss earlier in the season to avenge.
Pick: Iowa Hawkeyes -5