The Hawkeyes have lost two in a row and three of their last four as they head into the February 6th Minnesota at Iowa betting matchup. Iowa is back home for Sunday’s matchup with the Golden Gophers and they are 11-2 on their own court this season, but the degree of difficulty amps up a bit with head coach Fran McCaffrey missing this game after a positive COVID test on Friday.
Minnesota is in a slump of their own with three straight defeats and falling in 7 of their last 8 overall. The Golden Gophers started 10-1 before this freefall, but now they are just 2-8 in Big 10 play. Ben Johnson’s team lost 81-71 to Iowa on January 16th in the Twin Cities, failing to cover the +7 point spread. It was the Hawkeyes’ fourth win in the last five in this series including two victories in Minneapolis. Otherwise the home team is 8-2 in the last 10 head to head.
Can Minnesota Keep It Close?
Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffrey is out on Sunday due to a positive COVID test, with assistant Billy Taylor manning the bench in his place. Does that give the Gophers any advantage, or do the Hawkeyes come out even more fired up trying to get a big win for Taylor? It will need to be big too with Iowa a -11.5 favorite.
Minnesota is just 11-8 on the year, with all of their defeats coming in conference play and to good teams like Michigan State (twice), Illinois, Wisconsin, and Ohio State who are all ranked. They also tripped up at Indiana and at home to Sunday’s opponent Iowa but are still 4-1 ATS in their last five road tilts.
Iowa is the #7 scoring team in the country and 2nd only to Purdue in the Big Ten putting up 82.8 ppg. That means the Golden Gophers may need to score some points on Sunday, but they do have the talent with Jamison Battle (17.8) and Payton Willis (16.7) both capable of big game performances. Eylijah Stephens (11.3) had 22 points in the first meeting with Iowa.
Iowa Needs a Bounce Back
The Hawkeyes have dropped two in a row, the 83-73 loss to #6 Purdue somewhat acceptable but falling 90-86 in OT at Penn State on Monday as -5 point favorites not as good. The Hawkeyes shot a mere 27-77 from the field (35%) vs. the Nittany Lions who to be fair do have the #4 defense in the Big Ten. Even forcing 2OT while shooting that poorly is somewhat impressive from Iowa’s side.
Keegan Murray kept the Hawkeyes in it on Monday at Penn State with 21 points. He continues to lead the Big Ten with 22.3 ppg which is 4th best in the country. Murray had 25 points in the first meeting with Minnesota while three other starters had at least a dozen. The Hawkeyes have the 2nd worst scoring defense in the conference, so the February 6th Minnesota at Iowa betting contest should favor the ‘over’ 149.
Free February 6th Minnesota at Iowa Betting Pick
The Golden Gophers lost by 10 at home in their first meeting with Iowa this year, so it’s not a stretch to think that the Hawkeyes could get a 12+ point win on Saturday. Iowa is also well rested after Thursday’s game with Ohio State was postponed. That being said, that’s still too many points in a tough Big Ten matchup.
Iowa 81 – Minnesota 72
Free Pick: Minnesota +11.5