The Cornhuskers (13-3) will try to avoid the dreaded letdown game when they head to Carver-Hawkeye Arena for the January 12th Nebraska at Iowa betting matchup. Fred Hoiberg’s squad just upset #1 Purdue on Tuesday 88-72, but now have a tough road test at the Hawkeyes (9-6).
Iowa has gone 1-1 so far in the 2024 calendar year but they looked good last Saturday in an 86-77 win over Rutgers. The Hawkeyes should be well rested, and are now on alert after Nebraska’s big victory over the Boilermakers. Oddsmakers have the Hawkeyes a -4.5 favorite on Friday night and 65% of the betting public is giving the points.
Why Nebraska Has Value at +4.5
The Cornhuskers are playing good basketball right now – obviously evidenced by the program’s first win over a #1 team in over 30 years. Prior to the trouncing of Purdue Nebraska had also won five of their previous six and are now 3-2 to start Big Ten play.
Keisei Tominaga led the big win over Purdue with 19 points while Rienk Mast added 18. Brice Williams was also a point and an assist away from a triple double so although they may not be household names outside of Lincoln, the Cornhuskers have some talented players. Tominaga had 28 recently in a win over Indiana and Mast has 16+ points in three of his last four – and now that duo gets Iowa’s second to worst scoring defense in the conference.
Although their offense was great against the Boilermakers, the Nebraska defense also did a solid number on reigning Player of the Year Zach Edey, holding him to 15 points and 7 rebounds – not bad considering Edey leads the Big Ten with 21.8 ppg.
Why Iowa Has Value at -4.5
The Cornhuskers had a signature victory over Purdue this week, but that was also in Lincoln. Nebraska is 0-2 in Big Ten road games this season, losing by 16 at Wisconsin and by 11 in Minnesota so they not only struggle going away – they get dominated. Iowa also happens to be 8-1 on their own court this season.
The Hawkeyes have scored 85+ points in each of their last four home games, going over the 100-point mark in two of those. That potent Iowa offense should be fresh after not playing since last Saturday, a big 86-77 victory over Rutgers. The Hawkeyes showed balance against the Scarlet Knights, with four players scoring over 15 points led by 24 from Payton Sandfort.
Iowa does have some issues on defense, but that’s also because they run such an up tempo offense that leads the Big Ten with 86.7 ppg. The Hawkeyes have three players in the top 20 in scoring in the conference, with just Tominaga (16th) on that list for Nebraska.
Free January 12th Nebraska at Iowa Betting Preview
The Cornhuskers had an absolutely huge win over Purdue, but an emotional letdown is almost inevitable especially for a team that has had their struggles on the road this season – and against a Hawkeyes team that is very good at home. Iowa is well rested, and can absolutely exploit Nebraska if they come out flat.
Free Pick: Iowa -4.5