The Minnesota Golden Gophers (15-16, 4-14 Big 10) and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (13-18, 3-15 Big 10) go head-to-head in the Big Ten Tourney at Madison Square Garden. Minnesota is a 2.5-point favorite on the opening line, while the Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 133.5 points. Tip-off is set for 7:55 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 28, 2018.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers Odds Preview
The Scarlet Knights were beaten by the Illinois Fighting Illini in their last contest, 75-62. Rutgers’ Corey Sanders had a good performance, leading the team in scoring with 18 points on 6-for-11 shooting. Illinois forced the Scarlet Knights into a turnover percentage of 21.7 (above their season average of 14.4). Rutgers, meanwhile, had a free throw rate of 0.477 (above their season average of 0.192).
The last time the Golden Gophers played, they were beaten by the No. 9 Purdue Boilermakers, 84-60. With 14 points and 10 rebounds, Jordan Murphy had a solid outing for Minnesota. Purdue had a turnover percentage of 6.9 (better than their season average of 14.1). Minnesota, meanwhile, had a better offensive rebounding percentage (31.4 vs. 30.0).
Based on historical performance heading into this one, ball security could play a significant role in this showdown. Minnesota commits the 25th-fewest miscues in the NCAA (turnover percentage of 15.7 percent), while the pesky defense of Rutgers forces the 50th-most (opponents’ turnover percentage of 21.3 percent). Also, the Scarlet Knights could have their way on the defensive side of the ball. They rank 36th in the NCAA with an opponents’ effective field goal percentage of 0.474, while the offense of the Golden Gophers ranks 281st in effective field goal percentage (0.490).
Of Rutgers’ 23 games that accepted bets, 13 have finished under the projected point total, while 15 of Minnesota’s 30 games have finished over the O/U total. The Golden Gophers have the clear advantage straight up (SU) (15-16 vs. 13-18), but both teams are close to the .500 mark against the spread (ATS).
These teams have already met once this season. In that game, the two teams combined to put up 156 points, well over the projected point total of 140. The Golden Gophers won 89-67, covering as 12-point favorites. Getting to the charity stripe was one of Minnesota’s largest strengths. They made 35 trips to the line, while Rutgers went just 18 times. Nate Mason was the game’s top overall scorer with 26 points.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers Betting Prediction
Free Basketball Pick: SU Winner – Minnesota, ATS Winner – Minnesota, O/U – Under
- The Golden Gophers rank 225th in three pointers attempted per game (19.7) while the Scarlet Knights rank 305th (15.1).
- Rutgers averages 7.2 steals per game, which ranks 54th in the nation. Minnesota ranks 66th in steals allowed per game (5.6).
- Rutgers ranks 32nd in rebounds per game (38.8) while Minnesota ranks 262nd in rebounds allowed per game (37.8).
- The Golden Gophers rank 86th in assists per game (14.9) while the Scarlet Knights rank 280th (10.1).
- Minnesota ranks 18th in blocks per game (5.1) while Rutgers ranks 189th in blocks allowed per game (4.5).
- Minnesota is 1-4 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Rutgers is 2-3 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders.
- The Golden Gophers have been outscored by an average of 16.8 points in their last five games. On the season, Minnesota has defeated opponents by an average of 0.5 points.
- During their last five games, the Scarlet Knights have scored an average of 57.4 points per game (7.1 below their season average) and allowed an average of 68.0 points per game (3.5 above their season average).