How much is home-court advantage worth in college basketball? For bookmakers, the answer is simple: It’s worth a whole heck of a lot.
The Iowa Hawkeyes are the 20th-ranked team in college basketball and knocked-off #7 Michigan by 15 points in their most recent outing on Friday night. But that game took place at Carver–Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.
Thursday night, Iowa travels to Bloomington to face the 13-9 Indiana Hoosiers, a team which has lost almost twice as many games as the 17-5 Hawkeyes. But the Hoosiers are not taking any points in Las Vegas, as Bovada Sportsbook has cast the bout as an evenly-matched “pick’em” on the point spread in a tip-off with a healthy (147) Over/Under total.
While there was nothing but glory for Iowa last weekend, coach Fran McCaffery’s squad took a tumble earlier in the week against Minnesota, falling 92-87.Leading Hawkeye scorer Tyler Cook had 18 points and 9 rebounds with sophomore power forward Luke Garza was one of 2 visiting players to score at least 20 points, but a severe lack of scoring depth doomed the squad. The Iowa bench scored 16 points and hit 6 field goals but starters Jordan Bohannon and Joe Wieskamp combined for just 5.
Them Indiana Boys on Those Indiana Nights
The Hoosiers had their own see-saw ride over the past pair of outings. A miserable losing streak was extended in a 66-58 loss to Rutgers last Wednesday, with powerful Eugene Omoruyi of the Scarlet Knights abusing the Hoosiers with a double-double.
sBut fortune swung unexpectedly in the Friday night contest to follow as Indiana upset 9th-ranked Michigan State 79-75 in overtime. A full quintet of Hoosiers reached double-digit scoring paced by 6’6″ frosh guard Romeo Langford, while power forward Justin Smith came down with 10 boards.
CBB Prediction and Best Bet
It’s great for an unproven Indiana team to have snapped a losing streak, but the good feels won’t last with such a formidable opponent visiting Bloomington. The Hoosiers will have a better chance to beat Ohio State on Sunday.
Take Iowa to “cover” the pick’em spread.
Image from Twitter.