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Expert handicapper Stephen Rodriguez gives us his picks for a strong Sunday slate of college hoops action

BET OF THE DAY: (2u) Michigan Wolverines -7.5 @ -110

Indiana Hoosiers @ Michigan Wolverines, 1:00 PM:

  • Michigan has won each of the last six meetings between these teams.
  • Indiana is (3-5) on the road this season, and Michigan is (12-4) at home. Stat courtesy of Statschecker.

The reason we’re backing Michigan

Indiana (16-8) got themselves back on track in a big way by snapping a four-game losing streak at home, defeating #21 Iowa 89-77. The Hoosiers controlled the game throughout, shooting 50 per cent from beyond the arc with 11 made three-pointers and leading by 15 at half-time.

Senior Devonte Green came off the bench on fire, knocking down 7-of-11 three-point attempts for a game-high 27 points. Freshman Trayce Jackson-Davis led the starters and contributed a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Michigan (15-9) picked up a second straight victory by blowing out Northwestern on the road 79-54 to make it four wins from its last five games.

Juniors Eli Brooks and Isaiah Livers were the only Wolverines to score in double figures with 18 and 17 points respectively.

Although the Hoosiers got back in the win column, Indiana has won only one conference game on the road this season and that was against a poor Nebraska team. Michigan, and the Big Ten in general, have been nearly unbeatable at home and it’s hard for me to see the inconsistent Hoosiers pulling out the win.

(1u) Oregon Ducks -12.5 @ -110

Utah Utes @ #17 Oregon Ducks, 9:00 PM:

  • The Ducks have won 16 of the last 18 meetings with Utah.
  • Oregon has won each of its last 18 home games. Stat courtesy of Statschecker

The reason we’re backing Oregon

#17 Oregon (19-6) snapped a two-game losing streak by taking down #16 Colorado 80-60. The Ducks trailed by nine at half and went on to outscore the Buffaloes by 17 in the second half.

Senior Payton Pritchard filled up the stat sheet, putting together a double-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two steals. Sophomore Will Richardson nearly added a double-double of his own with a team-high 21 points and nine rebounds.

Utah (14-10) snapped a two-game winning streak with an ugly 7-51 defeat on the road to Oregon State which means it has lost three of its last five games. There weren’t too many positives for Utah as they shot 35 per cent from the field and 25 per cent from three-point range.

Freshman Branden Carlson was the lone Ute to score double figures, contributing 13 points with eight rebounds.

The Ducks won the first matchup in early January, edging out the Utes 69-64 on the road. Utah struggled to contain the Oregon offense, allowing them to shoot over 45 per cent from the field. If Utah puts together a similar defensive effort on Sunday, my expectation is this game will be decided by the half. Roll with Oregon to cover the hefty spread.

(1u) Minnesota Golden Gophers (-4) @ -110

#21 Iowa Hawkeyes @ Minnesota Golden Gophers, 1:00 PM:

  • The home team has won each of the last six meetings between these teams.
  • The home team has won each of Iowa’s last eight games. Stat courtesy of Statschecker.

The reason we’re backing Minnesota

#21 Iowa (17-8) fell back in the loss column after falling ugly on the road with an 89-77 defeat against Indiana.

The Hawkeyes had a rough night defensively in Indiana, allowing the Hoosiers to shoot over 50 per cent from three-point range and 45 per cent from the field.

Senior standout Luka Garza did all he could to keep the game competitive by posting huge numbers with a game-high 38 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.

Minnesota (12-11) had a tough outing on the road themselves losing to #22 Penn State 83-77. The Golden Gophers trailed by 14 at half, yet were able to cut down the lead to as close as three points thanks to the efforts of sophomore Daniel Oturu who totaled a huge double-double with 32 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks. 

Both Iowa and Minnesota have lost three of the last five games, and the Hawkeyes in particular have lost three straight games away from home. Although Iowa is the better team on paper, their road struggles are a serious cause for concern. I like Oturu to carry the load for Minnesota at home and outduel Garza for the win.


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