Northwestern Wildcats vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
The Northwestern Wildcats and the Iowa Hawkeyes battle it out in Big Ten college basketball action on Thursday. The Wildcats are -7 point favorites over the Hawkeyes with an over/under point total set at 149.
The Northwestern Wildcats have had their share of uncertainty this season but after back to back wins Bill Carmody’s team look like they are anything but ready to pack it in. Northwestern is 4-6 in Big Ten play, 9-3 at home, and in 10th place in the conference standings. John Shurna is averaging 19.6 points and 5.6 rebounds, Drew Crawford is averaging 17.2 points and 4.7 rebounds, and Dave Sobolewski is averaging 8.4 points. As a team Northwestern is averaging 69.6 points and they are shooting 45.2 percent while defensively they are allowing 67.2 points and their opponents are shooting 44.6 percent. The Cats have played the 10th ranked schedule in the nation and with a RPI of 35 they have a chance to end their tournament drought with a few more wins.
The Iowa Hawkeyes aren’t completely out of the mix yet in the Big Ten but Fran McCaffrey’s team will need to build off of the momentum of the back to back wins they had going into this game. Iowa is 5-6 in the Big 10, 2-5 on the road this season, and are in a three way tie for seventh place in the conference standings. Matt Gatens is averaging 13.9 points, Rou Devyn Marble is averaging 11.2 points, and Aaron White is averaging 10 points and 5.0 rebounds. As a team Iowa is averaging 74.2 points and they are shooting 45.3 percent while defensively they are allowing 72 points and their opponents are shooting 45.5 percent. Iowa are moving into a less difficult part of their schedule and it will be interesting to see how they respond to it.
Northwestern is 1-5 against the spread following a win, 2-5 against the spread in their last seven Thursday games, and 1-5 against the spread in their last six home games against a team that wins less than 40 percent of their road games. Iowa is 5-1 against the spread following a win, 9-4 against the spread in their last 13 games overall, and 5-2 against the spread following a cover. The underdog is 8-2-1 against the spread in the last 11 meetings of these two.
The spread here is a pretty solid number but Northwestern has underperformed most of the year so there might even be value here.
Northwestern Wildcats -7 Iowa Hawkeyes