Michigan Wolverines vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Free Pick & Preview
College Basketball Betting Favorite: Iowa -5
The Michigan Wolverines have lost only one time so far in the Big Ten. They sit in sole possession of first place in the conference. Michigan State is half a game back at 8-1, and Iowa is third, but they are just 6-4. There is a logjam at 5-5. Michigan looks to keep separation from the pack with this game, but Iowa needs a big win at home to get back on track. The stakes are high here!
The Michigan Wolverines have slipped up only once in ten contests. That’s extremely impressive considering the quality of competition in the Big Ten. After Mitch McGary went out many people expected Michigan to toil in mediocrity this year, but that hasn’t been the case at all. The emergence of Nick Stauskas as an elite player has propelled the Wolverines to some impressive things so far this season. Stauskas was seen as just a shooter before the season, but he has proven to be so much more than that. Stauskas is now highly thought of by NBA scouts, and I can definitely see why.
As a team Michigan is shooting 48.7 percent from the floor. That is top 20 in the nation. They are only allowing 63.7 points per game. The Wolverines do a great job taking care of the basketball, and they win the turnover battle almost every game. Michigan won 75-67 at home against Iowa a couple weeks ago. Michigan held Iowa to just 2 for 10 shooting from long range in that game. The Wolverines only turned it over ten times in that win.
Iowa was on a really nice roll a few weeks ago, but the Hawkeyes have hit a rough patch of late. Starting with their loss at Michigan, Iowa has lost three of their last five games. They had an overtime loss at home to Michigan State and a loss to Ohio State earlier this week. Iowa is averaging 83.7 points per game, but in their four Big Ten losses they haven’t topped 71 points. Iowa is going to want to turn this into a high scoring game to better their chances of winning. Iowa’s improvement on the defensive end has really driven their increased success this year. The Hawkeyes are holding opponents to just 38.6 percent shooting from the floor.
The Hawkeyes are at their best when they are attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line. That’s tough to do against a Michigan team that is great at playing defense without fouling. Iowa’s three-point shooting has really hurt them in their last few losses. If they are going to win this game, they’ll have to shoot it better from long range.
Prediction: Iowa 74 Michigan 72
Look for this game to go right down to the final shot. Iowa needs this game badly, but Michigan isn’t going to give them anything easy. I think the Hawkeyes turn it around with a hard fought win here.
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