Indiana vs. Iowa NCAA Basketball Preview

Trayce Jackson-Davis #23 of the Indiana Hoosiers shoots a free throw.  Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP
Trayce Jackson-Davis #23 of the Indiana Hoosiers shoots a free throw. Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP

Looking to pull even with the Michigan Wolverines atop the Big Ten Conference standings, the Iowa Hawkeyes are double-digit home favorites on the college basketball odds when the Indiana Hoosiers come to town on Thursday.

Indiana Hoosiers vs Iowa Hawkeyes

at Carver-Hawkeye Arena

Indiana and Iowa have both made friends with bettors this season, the Hoosiers covering nine of their 14 matchups while the Hawkeyes have recorded 10 winning slips in 14 tries. Iowa sits just a half-game behind Michigan in the league standings and has made good on beating the spread in eight of its nine home games so far. Indiana is back in the middle of the pack, but has been a good bet up to this point playing in in hostile gyms, covering three of four.

Adam Amin and Nick Bahe will be behind the mics for the broadcast from Iowa City on FS1. FanDuel has installed the Hawkeyes as 10½-point favorites for the first of two scheduled matchups between the schools this season, with 152½ for the total.

Hoosiers Cash 7 of Last 8 Road Affairs

Indiana has been sitting idle for a week after the Hoosiers saw their contest this past Sunday at Michigan State called off due to virus issues within the Spartans’ program. They have, for the most part, underachieved this campaign after being ranked just outside the top 25 in the two conventional preseason polls.

Archie Miller’s squad showed off their underachieving ways last Thursday at home against Purdue. Favored by 4 at most online sportsbooks, Indiana struggled out of the gate to trail by a dozen midway through the first half, eventually falling to the Boilermakers by that same margin, 81-69. It was defensive indifference beyond the arc that led to the Hoosiers’ demise as Purdue canned 11-of-17 from 3-point land.

The Hoosiers, meanwhile, only managed to net 3-of-18 from long range, and that has been a problem all season. Indiana ranks 221st nationally sinking 32.4% from outside, with sophomore guard Armaan Franklin proving to be the only consistent threat.

Hawkeyes Beat Spread in Last 5 Home Games

Fran McCaffrey’s lads will be seeking their second 6-game win streak of the season when they take the floor on Tuesday. The Hawkeyes also had a contest against Michigan State canceled last week, as well as matchup with Nebraska waved off this weekend. Their only two setbacks came against top-ranked Gonzaga in a mid-December neutral site tilt and a Christmas Day overtime defeat in overtime at a then-unranked Minnesota team.

Iowa spent this past weekend in Evanston, running away from Northwestern by a 96-73 count as 9½-point road chalk on the Sunday sports betting card. If not for McCaffrey running through his entire bench, it would’ve been a bigger out. As it was, Luka Garza posted his sixth double-double in just 24 minutes of action, one of five Hawkeyes to score in double digits. It was the third consecutive contest for Iowa to shoot better than 50% from the field, and the Hawkeyes rank 16th in the country hitting on better than 49%.

Rivalry Renewed for 182nd Time

Though not as big a rivalry as others in the Big Ten, the Hoosiers and Hawkeyes have been going at for more than 100 years. Indiana owns a 103-78 advantage in the series, building on that margin by winning nine of the last 13 get-togethers, and covering seven of the last nine. Another profitable trend in the series has been the ‘over,’ with eight of the last nine meetings skipping past the totals.

Their lone matchup last season took place in Bloomington where the Hoosiers pulled away from a close battle early in the first half for an 89-77 triumph as 2½-point favorites. The last matchup in Iowa City was close throughout the contest, needing overtime before the Hawkeyes registered a 76-70 decision to just miss the cover as 7-point chalk. A Conner McCaffrey free throw with four seconds left in OT just nudged the final above a 145½-point total.

With no game on deck this weekend, McCaffrey could keep his starters in a little longer on Thursday. Indiana hasn’t beaten a ranked club all year, but with the exception of an early blowout loss to Texas, the Hoosiers have hung close in losses at Florida State, Illinois, and Wisconsin. I’ll be taking the points with my NCAA basketball pick.

NCAAB Pick: Indiana +10½ (-110) at FanDuel

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