Brisk Offensive Pace Leads Michigan vs. Iowa To Go 'Over' For Our NCAA Basketball Picks

Ross Benjamin

Sunday, January 17, 2016 4:44 PM UTC

Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016 4:44 PM UTC

College basketball handicapping professional Ross Benjamin provides us with a betting preview and his NCAA basketball pick on Sunday’s game between Michigan and Iowa.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 143
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


Big Ten Showdown in Iowa City
Iowa hosts Michigan on Sunday in a Big Ten battle between two of the conference’s better teams. The opening tip at Carver Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City is slated for 4:30 PM ET. Current (10:35 AM ET) college basketball betting odds at Bookmaker shows Iowa as a 7.5 point favorite, and the posted total is 143.0. This will be the first meeting of the season between these conference rivals. Iowa won at Michigan a season ago in their lone meeting by a score of 72-54, and that contest went over the total of 121.0.


Three Point Prowess
The first thing that stood out to me when analyzing this matchup was both teams exceptional three point shooting. Michigan has shot a blistering 42.6% from beyond the three point line this season, and Iowa is converting on a stellar 40.2% of its long distance tries. As a matter of fact, Michigan has made a sizzling hot 45.7% of their three point shots over its previous five contests, and has averaged 13 made three-pointers per game during that stretch.


Wolverines Wrap
Michigan began the season 2-2, and has gone 11-2 since that inauspicious start. They’re coming off a huge 70-67 home win over #3 Maryland in its previous game. The Wolverines four losses this season (Xavier, Connecticut, SMU, & Purdue) have come against teams that currently possess a cumulative record of 58-9 (.866). The down side to those defeats besides the obvious is they came by 14 points or more on each occasion. They’ve gone 2-2 SU&ATS in true road games this season. Michigan is also 6-1 over the total in their last seven games, and scored 70 points or more in each of those outings.


Sizzling Hot Hawkeyes
Since sustaining a narrow 82-81 loss at #17 Iowa State on 12/10, #16 Iowa has reeled off six straight wins in a row, and improved to 13-3 this season. Included in their current win streak was a sweep of #4 Michigan State, and both of those victories came by decisive margins. As a matter of fact, they won 76-59 at Michigan State this past Thursday night, and also defeated the Spartans by 13 at home on 12/29. They also had a quality 70-63 win at #24 Purdue on 1/2 in a game they closed as a 9.0 point underdog. Similar to Sunday’s opponent (Michigan), the Hawkeyes three losses this season (Dayton, Notre Dame, & Iowa State) have come against teams that currently have a combined record of 39-12 (.765).


Final Analysis
Both teams are good defensively, but I wouldn’t consider them to be great in that area. Both play at a brisk offensive pace, and that’s especially evident with Michigan who averages a sizable 62 field goal attempts per game. Combining those factors with aforementioned points already made, and for my NCAA basketball pick,I like this contest to be a high scoring affair relative to its current total. One of my college basketball picks on Sunday will be indicative of that exact prediction.

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