Minnesota's Roster in Flux as It Visits Indiana

Mark Lathrop

Friday, February 9, 2018 12:45 PM UTC

Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 12:45 PM UTC

The Indiana Hoosiers haven't been lighting up the scoreboard but have also been playing decent defense in conference play. This leads to a trend that Mark Lathrop will be backing in a Friday night B1G Conference clash with Minnesota.

2017-18 NCAAB Record: 29-24 (+3.45 Units)

Minnesota Golden Gophers at Indiana HoosiersFree NCAAB Pick: Under 145Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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The Minnesota Golden Gophers hope to stop their abysmal 1-9 SU and 2-8 ATS stretch Friday night as they visit the Indiana Hoosiers, who are 5-5 SU and 8-2 ATS over the same timeframe. This game can be seen on Fox Sports 1 as counter-programming to the Winter Olympics' opening ceremony, and if I can convince you of the wagering value it will be must-see TV. With the Gophers coming in on that big of a slide, the bookmakers have placed them as 6.5-point road underdogs, as opposed to the 8-point favorites they were in these teams’ first matchup on Jan 6. That’s a 14.5-point difference in market value. The O/U has been initially set at 145 in this game at BookMaker.

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NOTES: The Hoosiers are 63-19 all-time at home against Minnesota heading into Friday's game (7:30pm, FS1). #IUBB ⚪️🔴

📝https://t.co/NNIVCoSSvJ pic.twitter.com/wjwc1Z6jv9

— Indiana Basketball (@IndianaMBB) February 8, 2018

The first game between these two ended up a 75-71 Indiana win, with the lead going back and forth often. Minnesota’s star swingman, 6’ 8” sophomore Amir Coffey, was in his first game out in that one after being injured. The Gophers have gone 1-9 SU in his absence, obviously missing his 14.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. He could be back for this game and is listed as day-to-day, but 6’ 5” junior guard Dupree McBrayer is questionable with a stress injury to his leg. Those are the types of things that need rest to heal, and if he sits out he will have a full 7 days off before a game against Michigan State – he was also in a walking boot as of Thursday evening. McBrayer scored 18 points in the first loss against Indiana this season with a team-leading 37 minutes on the court.

Indiana was without its starting center, 6’ 10” De’Ron Davis, in that earlier win on the road against Minnesota. It was their first game without Davis and Indiana employed a very small lineup to beat the Gophers. In looking at the minutes logged, no player over 6’ 7” got any time for the Hoosiers at all in that game. Since Coffey was out for Minnesota, it wasn’t that much of a detriment to the Hoosiers as small lineup met up with small lineup. The same should be true for this game.

A serious total trend will be in play here with Indiana 1-11 O-U in conference play this season. That one 'Over' was by 1.5 points. The total has been adjusted downwards by 5 points since the last meeting, even with Minnesota having nearly the worst defense in the B1G Conference. Indiana’s defense ranks 3rd in conference, though, and its offense isn’t potent enough to create an outlier score. In fact, the highest score that IU has put up in conference play this year is the 75 points it scored against Minnesota.

With the Gophers' lineup in question coming in, I cannot make the call on the side before having to publish this article. But if Coffey or McBrayer miss this game for Minnesota, it just enhances the trend towards the 'Under' Indiana is carrying. I’ll take 'Under' 145 with confidence in this spot as my Friday NCAAB Pick.

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