Big 10 foes will collide when the Penn State Nittany Lions (13-6, 3-3 Big 10) square off with the Minnesota Golden Gophers (13-6, 2-4 Big 10) at Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State opened as a 7.5-point favorite, while the Over/Under (O/U) for the game has been set at 147.5 points. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET on Monday, January 15, 2018.
Minnesota Golden Gophers at Penn State Nittany Lions Free Preview
The Golden Gophers were blown out by the No. 5 Purdue Boilermakers in their last game, 81-47. With 11 points on 3-for-13 shooting, Isaiah Washington was Minnesota’s high scorer. Purdue held the Golden Gophers to an offensive rebounding percentage of 16.3 (below their season average of 34.0). Minnesota, on the other hand, had a better turnover percentage (12.4 vs. 14.4).
In the Nittany Lions last game, they beat the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 76-74. Penn State received a boost from Mike Watkins, who recorded 20 points and 15 rebounds. Penn State dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had a phenomenal offensive rebounding percentage of 35.9 (above their season average of 32.9) and a free throw rate of 0.258 (above their season average of 0.233). Nebraska recorded marks of 24.4 and 0.221, respectively, for those same stats.
Penn State figures to have the advantage on the defensive side of the ball. The Nittany Lions rank 32nd in effective field goal percentage allowed (0.461), while Minnesota is 249th in effective field goal percentage (0.496).
Of Minnesota’s 18 games that accepted bets, nine have finished over the O/U total, while 9 of Penn State’s 15 games have finished under the projected point total. Both teams have respectable straight up (SU) records (13-6 for Minnesota; 13-6 for Penn State), but the Golden Gophers have the edge against the spread (ATS). Minnesota is 8-10 ATS, while the Nittany Lions are 7-7-1.
Watkins has really been playing well over the last five games for Penn State, averaging 13.2 points, 12.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game.
This is the first time these teams will go head-to-head this year, after splitting two games last season. In the most recent contest, the Golden Gophers won 81-71. The Golden Gophers played a nearly perfect game. They had a free throw rate of 0.246 and an effective field goal percentage of 0.500. For those same stats, the Nittany Lions were 0.132 and 0.401, respectively.
Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Penn State Nittany Lions ATS Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Penn State, ATS Winner – Minnesota, O/U – Under
- The Nittany Lions rank 39th in three pointers allowed per game (19.1) while the Golden Gophers rank 174th (23.3).
- Penn State ranks 19th in steals per game (8.5) while Minnesota ranks 149th (5.8).
- Minnesota is 3-3 ATS on the road, while Penn State is 5-3 ATS at home.
- Of the Golden Gophers 6 road games, they have 3 overs and 3 unders.
- The Nittany Lions have 6 unders and 2 overs in 8 home games.
- Penn State ranks 30th in assists allowed per game (11.1) while Minnesota ranks 195th (15.2).
- The Nittany Lions average 38.1 rebounds per game, which ranks 65th in the nation. The Golden Gophers rank 217th in rebounds allowed per game (38.0).
- Penn State ranks 11th in blocks per game (6.0) while Minnesota ranks 149th in blocks allowed per game (4.6).
- Penn State is 1-3 ATS with 4 overs in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Minnesota is 1-4 ATS with 5 unders.
- The Nittany Lions average margin of victory in their last five games has been 10.4, down from 11.6 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Golden Gophers have scored an average of 64.0 points per game (15.6 below their season average) and allowed an average of 72.2 points per game (0.4 above their season average).