Don't Follow The Trend! Go 'Under' With Your NCAA Basketball Picks On Indiana vs. Michigan

Charles Stark

Tuesday, February 2, 2016 12:49 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016 12:49 PM UTC

Indiana's schedule is about to get a lot heavier as they travel to face Michigan. Let's review the characteristics of this game and decide on a sharp NCAA basketball pick.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 148
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


NCAA Basketball Odds Overview
NCAA basketball odds boards have come out with a total of 149 for this game like at Bookmaker -110. This total seems a little bit high to me because I like how both these teams are playing some decent defense this year. As well, I don't expect the pace to be that extreme. For one of my NCAA picks today, I will take under the total tonight between Indiana and Michigan.


Indiana Hoosiers
Indiana is averaging 85.2 points per game while shooting 51.7% from the field, and allowing 68.5 points per game on 43.4% from the field. On the season, they are 11-11 on their over under totals, and 4-5 on the road. Tom Crean is doing a really nice job with this club and they are one of the best offensive teams in the country, but what has been surprising is the defense they are actually playing. Offensively, the Hoosiers rank second in the country in overall shooting percentage, two point shooting percentage, and effective field-goal percentage. They also ranked third averaging 30.3 field goals made per game, and shooting 43.2% from beyond the arc. This is a really efficient scoring team, but surprisingly, they don't average as many field-goal attempts per game as you would think, as they rank outside the top hundred in attempts per game. On the defensive side, although not great, they are vastly improved from last year. Most notably, they rank 27th in the country in opponent three-pointers attempted and made per game. As well, they only allow opponents 11 assists per game, which ranks in the top part of the country, and allow opponents just 30 rebounds per game, which ranks seventh in the country. I believe they took a long hard look at how poorly the played defense last season and have made adjustments. Overall, they are much better on this side of the ball, and I applaud Coach Crean for putting more of a focus on their defense.


Michigan Wolverines
Michigan is averaging 77.7 points per game while shooting 48.5% from the field, and allowing 65.3 points per game on 42.8% shooting from the field. On the season they have been a very solid pick on over the total going 14-6 overall, and 7-3 at home. Offensively, they are very efficient and rank in the top 20 in some of the most important offensive categories. The Wolverines rank fourth in the country in both shooting efficiency and effective field-goal percentage. As well, they rank 16th in overall shooting percentage, 18th at 54.7% on their two point shooting percentage, and eighth averaging 41.3% from beyond the arc. John Beilein is a really good offensive coach, and his teams are always more than reliable in finding ways to put the ball in the basket. Defensively, the Wolverines have been subpar, but they do try to control the tempo and allow opponents only 55.7 field-goal attempts per game. Like Indiana, they are very good at not giving up a lot of second chances as they allow only 31.4 opponent total rebounds per game. Michigan has won all four of their Big Ten home games so far this season, and where they have done it is on the defensive end allowing an average of just around 63 points per game. For them to beat a hot Indiana team, I believe this is where they will focus tonight.

In the last three seasons that these two teams have met, they have had both pretty high-scoring and somewhat low-scoring games. Tonight this game is about the number, and for one of your NCAA basketball picks, I recommend you back under the total as this number is simply too high. Go against the trend and expect this game to end up at a lot lower of a final than people anticipate.

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