It’s getting kind of late in the year to still be looking for your first road win, but that’s the spot that the Golden Gophers are in coming into the March 3rd Minnesota at Penn State matchup. Richard Pitino’s team is now 0-9 away, compared to a very efficient 13-3 at home.
PSU wouldn’t mind adding another tally in the road loss column for Minnesota. Penn State could use a win of their own after falling by 21 at Purdue last Friday. The Nittany Lions have now lost five of their last six, the lone win coming against lowly Nebraska. Oddsmakers still have Penn State as -5 point favorites in this one however.
Minnesota a Lost Cause on the Road?
The Golden Gophers are historically bad on the road this year, not only losing all nine games but failing to cover the number in eight of them. That trend continued on Saturday, falling 78-74 at 7-17 Nebraska even as -2.5 favorites.
Minnesota does have the 5th best scoring offense in the Big Ten, and Marcus Carr dumped in 41 points in the loss to the Cornhuskers over the weekend. The Golden Gophers are in a rut though, losers of five straight including 67-59 at home against Northwestern (7-14) as 5.5 point favorites last Thursday.
Pitino’s squad is also shorthanded coming into the March 3rd Minnesota at Penn State pick. Second leading scorer Liam Robbins (11.7 ppg) has missed the last two games and is out indefinitely with an ankle injury. Third leading scorer Gabe Kalscheur has missed the last four games, and it’s no
Penn State Set to Dominate Inside?
The loss of the 7’1″ Robbins is huge for Minnesota, as it’s going to be hard to combat the force that is John Harrar on the interior for the Nittany Lions. Harrar grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the win over Nebraska two games ago.
Penn State has still lost three straight home games, but do have the #6 scoring offense in the Big Ten. That offense should be on display on Wednesday night against a Minnesota defense that let Nebraska shoot 55% from the floor on Saturday and 56% from three point range. This game features the two worst defenses in the Big Ten.
Carr just doesn’t have much help right now for Minnesota, as Brandon Johnson (9.0) and Jamal Mashburn, Jr. (7.6) the only other reliable scorers for the Golden Gophers. That’s something that Penn State’s Myreon Jones (15.4) and Izaiah Brockington (13.0). That, and a bad Minnesota defense.
Free March 3rd Minnesota at Penn State Pick
It’s looking like Minnesota is just too shorthanded right now. Harrar is a force on the inside and the Golden Gophers just let the 3rd worst offense in the Big Ten hit them up for better than 50% from the floor. That bodes well for the Penn State back court as well. 62% of the public likes Minnesota getting the points, but the Nittany Lions can win this one big.
Minnesota 62 – Penn State 72
Free Pick: Penn State -5