Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#7923 Penn State vs.
#7924 Nebraska
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 8:00pm EST
Written by Blake V.

Two of the worst teams in the Big Ten will face each other on Tuesday night when Nebraska hosts Penn State. The Nittany Lions have lost their last four games and are in twelfth place in the conference standings. Nebraska is sitting in dead last and has only picked up one Big Ten win all season—a 62-61 victory over Penn State on Valentines Day.

Nittany Lions eyeing revenge

Penn State has dropped its last four games since going on a stretch where it won four out of six games. The Nittany Lions lost games to Michigan State and Nebraska by a combined three points before losing to No. 4 Ohio State by 10 points. They nearly pulled off an upset at No. 11 Iowa on Sunday, but they came up just short in a 74-68 final. Penn State has games against Purdue, Minnesota and Maryland left on the schedule. The offense is listed at No. 33 nationally in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency ratings. The shooting has not been great, but it has avoided turnovers and given itself a lot of second chances on the offensive glass.

Nebraska’s defense is the strength of its team, listed at No. 45 in adjusted efficiency. Junior guard Myreon Jones leads Penn State with 14.9 points per game. He scored 18 points and had four rebounds in the loss to Nebraska a week ago. Jones is only shooting 39.5 percent from the floor, but he is knocking down 39.3 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. Junior guard Izaiah Brockington is scoring 13.5 points and is grabbing 4.6 rebounds. He had 11 points and three boards in the first meeting with the Cornhuskers. Sophomore forward Seth Lundy is also in double figures, averaging 10.5 points per game.

Cornhuskers continue to struggle

Nebraska has not been very competitive in the Big Ten. The Cornhuskers lost their first three games by double digits, which set the ton for their season. They have only picked up one win all year in conference play—a 62-61 victory at Penn State on Feb. 14. They were unable to build on that in the following three games, losing to Maryland twice and Purdue once. Nebraska had lost 25 consecutive conference games dating back to last season prior to beating Penn State. Its offense has been among the worst in the country, listed at No. 310 in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency ratings.

They will be facing a Penn State defense that has allowed teams to shoot well from the floor, but it also forces a decent number of turnovers. Junior guard Teddy Allen leads Nebraska with 16.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. He scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds in the win at Penn State. Allen was held to just six points in 19 minutes of action against Purdue. Sophomore guard Dalano Banton is the only other player averaging double figures, scoring 10.4 points. He is also grabbing 6.5 rebounds and dishing out 4.5 assists. Banton had just two points against Purdue on Saturday.

Best Bets for this Game

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Full-Game Side Bet

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Penn State covering the spread in this game is one of my favorite college basketball bets all season. The Nittany Lions have a ton of factors working for them in this game, but the most important is what we saw from Nebraska on Saturday. Nebraska head coach Fred Hoiberg did not play either of his two best players for 20 minutes in the loss to Purdue. He has reached the experimentation stage of the season, as his team has been losing all year. Penn State is near the bottom of the conference standings, but it is just outside the top 30 nationally in KenPom’s rankings. The Nittany Lions will be uber-focused to get revenge for their loss to Nebraska just over a week ago.

Prediction: Penn State -6

Full-Game Total Pick

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This game should go over the total. Nebraska plays at one of the fastest tempos in college basketball, listed at No. 14 in average possession length. Penn State will be wanting to get out in transition as well, as it is listed at No. 96 in average possession length. The Nittany Lions are better on the offensive end of the court than the defensive end and they shoot pretty well from beyond the arc. These teams tend to play high-scoring games when they square off, with six of the last eight head-to-head meetings going over the number.

Prediction: Over 140.5
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Written By Blake Von Hagen , "Blake V."

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.