Michigan Wolverines vs (10) Indiana Hoosiers (-6, 146.5 o/u)
The Michigan Wolverines (21-11, 10-8 Big Ten) needed overtime to dispatch with Northwestern and reach the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament earlier today. They will need an even bigger effort tomorrow when they face the top-seeded Indiana Hoosiers (25-6, 15-3 Big Ten) at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis (12:00 PM Eastern).
After jumping out to a big lead early, Michigan let Northwestern creep back into it. But Wolverines guard Zak Irvin (19 points) saved the day, hitting the game-winning jumper in the 72-70 victory. Duncan Robinson was the high man for the Wolverines with 21 points.
The win was Michigan’s second over Northwestern in less than three weeks. But the Wildcats are the only team the Wolverines have beaten in their last six games.
Michigan was almost the definition of average in the regular season, going 10-8 against conference opponents and posting a 15-15 mark against the spread. The offense isn’t much to get excited about, averaging 74.9 points per game, but the D has been strong this year, holding opponents to just 67.1 PPG.
Keep Indiana under 70 won’t be easy. The Hoosiers pour in 82.7 PPG, led by senior guard Yogi Ferrell (17.1 PPG). Ferrell led OU to five straight wins to end the regular season, giving the Hoosiers the Big Ten regular season title and vaulting them into the top-ten in the nation.
The team isn’t just an offensive power, though. They battle hard on defense, too, allowing 68.8 PPG. They used a strong defensive effort to power past the Wolverines (80-67) when they met in the regular season in Ann Arbour. Ferrell and fellow backcourt starter Robert Johnson combined for 33 that night.
The betting trends don’t pull strongly to either side, but the Wolverines are 3-7 ATS in their last ten games as an underdog and will be the tired team.
Pick: Indiana (-6).
(Photo credit: Corey Seeman (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode]. Photo has been cropped.)