Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#615 Iowa 145 vs.
#616 Michigan -6.5
Friday, December 6, 2019 at 6:30pm EST
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#615 University of Iowa
#616 University of Michigan
6-2
7-1
15-20
21-16
18-17
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78
69
73
58

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This article covers a past game!

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When and where: December 6, 2019, Crisler Center, Ann Arbor, MI, 6:30 PM ET

After dropping their first loss of the season to No. 1-ranked Louisville, the No. 4-ranked Michigan Wolverines will return home for a Big Ten tilt with the visiting Iowa Hawkeyes. A poor offensive showing from the Wolverines cost them on the road in their Big Ten/ACC Challenge match-up with Louisville. They hope to have a better showing against an Iowa team coming off a 68-54 victory over Syracuse. The Hawkeyes’ only losses so far this season have come to DePaul and San Diego State.

Iowa hit the jets on Syracuse

For at least the first 20 minutes, it looked like Syracuse might actually challenge Iowa and potentially hand them their second consecutive loss. The Hawkeyes fell in defeat at the hands of San Diego State at the Las Vegas Invitational finals, and their supposed bounce-back game against the Orange was tougher than expected in the early going. They finished the first-half with a 30-29 lead before turning on the jets and soaring on a 38-25 run on the other side of the break.

The Hawkeyes can’t afford to get off to a late start against a Wolverines defense holding opponents to a 39.6 field goal shooting percentage at home. They weren’t able to beat Louisville, but they did manage to hold their offense to 58 points. So that’s an early sign that Michigan has what it takes to put Iowa’s 13th-ranked offense under lock and key as well.

Of course, standout center Luka Garza, Iowa’s leading scorer, might have something to say about that on Friday night. He is averaging 20.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game so far this season.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Hawkeyes will be facing a Michigan offense that seems to be stuck in mud. Iowa is hopeful their struggling defense isn’t the one to bail them out. They rank 188th in the league in defensive efficiency with their opponents averaging a 42.7 shooting percentage.

Wolverines’ offense sinks against the Cardinals

The Wolverines won’t win many games scoring only 43 points and shooting 25.9 percent from the floor. Throw in the fact that they went 3-of-19 from 3-pointer and it’s clear how atrocious their performance was in Tuesday night’s loss to Louisville.

They’re hoping for a better offensive effort against the Hawkeyes on Friday. The odds are stacked in their favor considering the Hawkeyes are allowing an average of 69.0 points per game to opposing teams. Isaiah Livers especially has to play better after going 1-of-9 from the floor against the Cardinals for only three points in the game. Center Jon Teske was able to step up for 18 points and 10 rebounds. The same will be asked of him again in this particular match-up with Garza on the floor.

Iowa ranks 34th in the country in scoring offense. So the Wolverines will once again have a tough defensive outing. However, they should be surfing a tidal wave of confidence on that end of the floor after limiting Louisville’s fifth-ranked offense to a 36.7 field goal shooting percentage.

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There is no better wake-up call for the No. 4-ranked team in the country than getting completely shut down on offense and dominated on the road. Livers will especially be looking forward to getting back on the floor coming off what has by far been his worst performance of the season.

The Wolverines have the defense to give the Hawkeyes the same problems they gave Louisville. Teske is also the perfect foil to Garza dominating in the paint. Michigan is averaging 77.5 points with a 49.6 field goal shooting percentage on offense. That ugly showing against the Cardinals is unlikely to happen again this season, much less in a game against a Hawkeyes team that has floundered on the defensive end of the floor.

Iowa would have been better off catching the Wolverines coming off a win, but they’ll get a motivated team desperately looking to put their recent loss in the rearview. I’m laying the points on Friday.

Prediction: Michigan Wolverines (-8)

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The Wolverines should be more efficient on offense against a much less suffocating defense than they faced against the Cardinals. They’ll also be playing at home at the Crisler Center in their first conference game of the season. Michigan has been fairly solid offensively for the most part this season, ranking 60th in the nation in efficiency and 48th in points per game.

They have more than enough offense to do damage to a Hawkeyes defense struggling to get stops. Teske won’t be on solo duty on Friday night with Livers also stepping up to carry some of the offensive load. I’m taking the over betting total here.

Prediction: Over (144)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.