Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:15 PM EST.
7:00 PM EST. The Scarlet Knights have lost five of their last six games including an eye-opening 22-point beat down at the hands of Ohio State on Sunday. While that result looks bad on paper, Rutgers dug itself a hole by scoring just 15-points in the first half. Poor shooting has been the Knights' biggest problem lately with leading scorer Corey Sanders' 25.4% shooting the last two games being the highlight of their struggles but a correction is likely coming. Rutgers is a very disciplined team, as it had just five turnovers against the Buckeyes. Usually, when a team gets blown out it is because they are sloppy with the basketball, but for Rutgers, that is not the case. When they are at their best, the Scarlet Knights play a suffocating half-court defense that is backed up by their 62.1 points allowed per game, which is good for 9th in the nation and 1st in the Big Ten. According to KenPom, Rutgers also ranks 27th in America in adjusted defense ahead of teams like #1 Villanova and #18 Kentucky.
Iowa may appear to be on its way up after a 104-97 overtime win over Illinois, but if you watched that game, you know how fortunate the Hawkeyes were to get the W after trailing 49-29 late in the first half against the worst team in the conference. That comeback was the third largest in school history, but being down 20-points against a school that is still winless in conference play is unacceptable. The Hawkeyes have owned Rutgers since the Scarlet Knights joined the Big Ten with four straight wins, but that lopsided head-to-head record only inflates Iowa's price tonight.
For the Hawkeyes to be favored on the road against anyone in the Big Ten is a joke. Iowa was a 4½-point pooch at Illinois just one game ago. This five-point swing is huge and completely unjustified. Iowa absolutely belongs in the bottom of the Big Ten standings, but they are not being priced as such. While the basement of the Big Ten might seem like familiar territory for the Scarlet Knights, this is not the same Rutgers team that was brought in to be the doormat of the conference. Rutgers has taken its lumps in conference play going just 1-5, but they've played the best the Big Ten has to offer including #3 Purdue, #9 Michigan State (twice), #22 Ohio State and Minnesota back in November when the Golden Gophers were still rolling a full strength. This host is battle tested and taking a big step down in competition tonight. Tack on the fact that Iowa has #3 Purdue coming to Iowa City on Saturday, and this trip to Jersey might be nothing more than an inconvenience. If Iowa is as nonchalant to start this game as it was in Illinois, history isn't likely to be repeated. The Knights are still much undervalued in this market, which is something we’re always looking to pounce on.
Open an account today at Pinnacle Sports and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
#742 RUTGERS +103 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.06)