Northwestern Wildcats (19) vs. Iowa Hawkeyes (10) Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions

December 28, 2020

Date:Tuesday, December 29th
Time:9:00 PM ET
Network:FS1
Venue:Carver-Hawkeye Arena
Spread:Iowa -10.5
O/U:157.5

The 6-1 Northwestern Wildcats will go on the road Tuesday night to face off with the 7-2 Iowa Hawkeyes at 9:00 PM ET in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes come in as 10.5-point home favorites after losing their last game. We’re expecting plenty of points with a 157.5 over/under as both teams play fast. You can tune into the matchup on FS1. Let’s dive into how this game will go down and who will end up covering the spread. Make sure to check out our CBB Picks and Predictions as every big game will be covered.

Trends

  • Wildcats are 8-21-1 ATS in their last 30 games following a ATS win.
  • Hawkeyes are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing more than 90 points in their previous game.
  • Over is 9-4 in Wildcats last 13 overall.
  • Over is 8-0 in Hawkeyes last 8 games after scoring more than 90 points in their previous game.

When The Northwestern Wildcats Have The Ball

The Wildcats sole loss of the season came in a one-point game to the Pittsburgh Panthers in the third game of the season. They’ve since bounced back with marquee wins over Michigan State and Ohio State. This is a team full of upperclassmen and four different players average double-figures. Junior F Miller Kopp leads the way with 15.1 points per game, but he doesn’t do much else. Guards Boo Buie and Chase Audige do more of the dirty work and they will need to have massive games against an Iowa offense that will score.

PF Pete Nance is a monster in the paint and he can break open any given game. He averages 10 points and seven rebounds to this point. This is an experienced team that doesn’t turn the ball over a ton, ranking 34th in the country. Against Iowa, Northwestern will do their best to slow the game down. They don’t mind running in transition a bit, but certainly want to play a lot slower than Iowa does.

When The Iowa Hawkeyes Have The Ball

The Hawkeyes have been ugly defensively in two straight losses, and the offense hasn’t been able to make up for it. Center Luka Garza remains one of the best players in the entire country, averaging 28 points and 10 rebounds per game to this point. SG Joe Wieskamp is as solid as they come and he’s up to a career-high 15 points per game on top of seven rebounds and two assists. Point guards Jordan Bohannon (6.9 pts, 4.3 ast) and C.J. Frederick (10.4 pts, 2.9 ast) are unselfish and don’t mind letting Garza and Wieskamp do the scoring. This offense works through Garza, so don’t expect the point guards to have the ball in their hands much. Especially against Northwestern, who will do their best to slow this one down.

Defensively, Iowa must step up. This is a team that wants to play fast and the defense can suffer at times. They must avoid letting Miller Kopp and Pete Nance get hot down low as Garza getting into foul trouble spells doom for this team. Jack Nunge is the Hawkeyes best defender and he must show up if Iowa wants to cover this spread.

Spread Prediction

The Pick: Iowa -10.5

These are two similar teams to me that are simply in different classes. What I mean is that everything Northwestern does well, Iowa does better. They shoot 4% better from beyond the arc and 5% better from the field overall. Iowa might turn the ball over more, but that’s only because they average drastically more possessions. Luka Garza is going to have a field day against these bigs and I expect Iowa to win by at least 15 here. The Hawkeyes guards will give Northwestern trouble on the perimeter as well. This number is a trap and I’m all over Iowa. They’re about to go on a big run. 

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Total Prediction

The Pick: Over 157.5
Final Score Prediction: Iowa 94, Northwestern 79

The Wildcats will try to slow this game down, but it will inevitable turn into a game of catch-up. The Northwestern defense isn’t strong enough to contain Iowa and they’ll fall behind if the offense doesn’t increase pace. The over is the only smart bet to make on the total and I would jump on it as I expect a rise prior to tipoff. The Hawkeyes are one of the best offenses in the entire country and they’re going to put up a ton of points in this game.

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