At first glance, the February 13th Iowa at Indiana free pick looks like the dreaded ‘too easy’ play. We’ve got the #21 ranked Hawkeyes, winners in 7 of their last 9, getting +2 points on the road at Indiana. Iowa is in the hunt for a Big Ten title (2 games back from Maryland) so will not be overlooking anybody right now.
Indiana on the other hand is trending in the opposite direction, losing four games in a row. Two of those were in Bloomington as well including losing by a dozen to Purdue on Saturday. How can you pull the trigger on IU here?
Iowa Has Owned the Series Lately
Fran McCaffrey’s team just looks like strange underdogs in this February 13th Iowa at Indiana free pick. The Hawkeyes have been victorious in 7 of their last 9 games, not to mention having swept the series with the Hoosiers last season. Iowa is a game back from Michigan State and Penn State for 2nd place and has an outside chance at catching Maryland for the conference title.
What will cause bettors some concern on Thursday is the fact the Hawks have looked pretty bad their last two on the road. That includes a 36 point loss at Purdue on February 5th and a 72-82 defeat in Maryland on January 30th. Iowa is just 3-4 on the road this season whereas Indiana is 12-3 in Bloomington.
Iowa still has the best player in this game in Luka Garza. A top 10 player of the year candidate, Garza has scored 21+ points in 9 straight games. Granted it was against Nebraska, but Iowa’s offense was clicking Saturday in a 96-72 win over Nebraska albeit as -15 favorites. If Joe Weiskamp can have anything similar to the 30 he put up vs the ‘Huskers Iowa will be in a great spot.
Indiana in a Do Or Die?
The Big Ten is looking at sending upwards of 10 teams to the big dance possibly. As it stands right now, Indiana might not be one of those teams after their current 4-game losing streak. Of course a win over a ranked opponent on Thursday definitely doesn’t hurt the resume. Expect an electric crowd at Assemly Hall for this one.
But how will the Hoosiers respond on the court? Indiana has dropped four in a row, the last three by an average of 12 points. For optimism in Thursday’s matchup just look to a 76-77 loss Indiana had at home vs. Maryland on January 26th. The Hoosiers outscored Maryland by 8 in the 2nd half, but fell just short against the Big Ten’s 1st place team.
The big question is if Indiana can hang with Iowa’s conference leading scoring offense (79.1 ppg). Over the last 3, the Hoosiers are putting up just 54 ppg. They haven’t had a player score more than 16 points over their current 4 game losing streak – Iowa has Garza and Weiskamp who could both go for 25+.
February 13th Iowa at Indiana Free Pick
This line definitely seems like a trap play on Iowa but strangely enough 58% of public betting is actually on the Hoosiers. That’s a good thing. Indiana is fighting for their tournament lives here, but they just don’t have the offense to hang with Iowa. Garza has been dominant and Weiskamp has shown he’s capable of big nights as well. Indiana doesn’t have that same balance – or any.
Pick: Iowa Hawkeyes +2