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Guard Caitlin Clark of the Iowa Hawkeyes gestures to the crowd after the matchup against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Carver-Hawkeye Arena as we look at our Iowa-Northwestern prediction.
Guard Caitlin Clark of the Iowa Hawkeyes gestures to the crowd after the matchup against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images/AFP.

Caitlin Clark continue her historic career against Northwestern on Wednesday night, as we dive into our Iowa vs. Northwestern prediction based on the best college basketball odds.

Even after losing to Ohio State just over a week ago, it doesn't seem like any team in the Big Ten will be able to unseat Iowa (19-2) this season. Caitlin Clark is a key reason why, as the reigning Wooden Award winner is the most dominant force in the country and shows no signs of slowing down.

The Hawkeyes sit behind only South Carolina and LSU in the latest Women’s March Madness odds, and Northwestern (7-13) doesn’t appear to be a team set to make much noise against Lisa Bluder’s squad. The Wildcats are on a four-game losing streak and are 1-6 in January, and now the program must deal with the Women’s Wooden Award odds favorite coming to town.

In addition to our Florida vs. Kentucky prediction, here is our best Iowa vs. Northwestern prediction and our college basketball picks (odds via our best March Madness betting sites; Pick confidence is based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Iowa vs. Northwestern prediction

Iowa -35.5 ⭐⭐

Best odds: -110 via bet365

This is the perfect matchup for Iowa to flex its muscles and cruise to a significant victory after the recent loss to Ohio State. The Hawkeyes boast the most prolific offense in women’s college hoops, and Clark is the engine that makes it all go. Iowa leads the country in points per game with 91, and Northwestern trots out one of the country's worst defenses.

The Wildcats are allowing 82 points per game, which sits fourth worst in women’s college basketball, and that number jumps up to 97.5 during the team's four losses to ranked opponents in 2023-24. Northwestern is particularly bad at defending 3-pointers, with its opponents shooting 36.8% from deep, the sixth-worst mark in the nation.

That bodes well for an Iowa attack that’s as efficient as it gets from distance. The Hawkeyes are hitting the fourth most threes per game in the country (10.4) and shooting 37.1% from behind the arc. Clark leads that charge while averaging 5.3 threes per game, and she's shooting a career-best 40.7% from that range.

What makes Iowa so good though is that the Hawkeyes can lean on Hannah Stuelke and Kate Martin —who average a combined 24.8 points per game — when opponents sell out in an attempt to stop Clark. Focusing on Clark rarely works, but it opens the floor up for Stuelke and Martin, who are both shooting over 53% this season.

It won’t just be about Clark and the offense for Iowa to cover though, as the defense will need to slow down Northwestern’s one-two punch of Melannie Daley and Caileigh Walsh. Teams are shooting just 38.9% from the field against Iowa in 2023-24 and 29.1% from three. Northwestern is averaging 67 points per game while scoring just 55.7 against ranked opponents.

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Iowa vs. Northwestern best odds

bet365 (-110)

N/AIowa -35.5N/AIowa -35.5Iowa -35.5

It’s tough to justify taking such a large favorite, but that’s the way it is when Iowa clashes with an unranked opponent. Our best sportsbooks are all offering Iowa at -35.5, with bet365 giving us the best value. 

Despite the considerable point spread, Iowa's strong performance against lower-ranked teams in the Big Ten has resulted in a 12-7 record against the spread this season. Notably, when the Hawkeyes score 82-plus points, they boast an impressive 11-3 record against the spread.

Iowa vs. Northwestern odds analysis

Iowa opened as a heavy favorite across our best sports betting sites, with the line shifting from -29.5 to -35.5 within minutes of it becoming available on Wednesday morning. It will likely continue to move a few more points in the Hawkeyes' favor as a result of the Caitlin Clark effect. The Hawkeyes are 8-1 in the Big Ten this season and outscoring conference opponents 91.1 to 69.8.

With how potent Iowa’s offense is behind Clark, the game total is up to between 157.5 and 161.5. bet365 is offering the lowest total at 157.5 among our best sports betting apps.

Iowa vs. Northwestern game info

  • When: Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. ET
  • Where: Welsh-Ryan Arena, Evanston, Illinois
  • How to watch: Peacock

Iowa-Northwestern prediction made Wednesday at 10:17 a.m. ET.

Here are our best March Madness betting sites:

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