NCAA Basketball Picks: Indiana vs. Penn State

Joe Freda

Monday, January 7, 2013 12:30 PM GMT

Will Penn State stay hot at the betting windows or can Indiana cover the road ‘chalk’ here? Find out which team we are adding to our NCAA Basketball picks tonight.

The No. 5 Indiana Hoosiers have an 8-4 spread record in their first 12 ‘board’ battles, but just a 1-3 ATS mark in the span’s four affairs away from home. Monday’s college basketball matchup report has Tom Crean’s crew visiting the Penn State Nittany Lions, who have cashed three straight tickets.

[gameodds]14/157604/93-43-19-999996-1096-238/us[/gameodds]

Hoosiers, Zeller edge out Iowa

Indiana notched a fourth straight win in last Monday’s 69-65 victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes, while falling short of collecting as a seven-point road favorite. The Hoosiers held Iowa to 33.3 percent field shooting, while outrebounding the Hawkeyes, 45-36.

Hoosiers mates Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo each logged a double-double, uniting for 33 points and 20 boards. Indiana’s Jordan Hull recorded a team-high six assists, while held scoreless in a 0-for-10 day from the floor.

The battle’s combined 134 points plunged below the ‘total’ of 152, moving the UNDER to 2-1 in Indiana’s last three games. Hoosiers freshman Jeremy Hollowell registered two of his squad’s three blocks in five minutes of action, while his mates sank 13-of-18 free throws.

Lions, Marshall fall short in Madison

Penn State came away with a 60-51 defeat in Thursday’s Big Ten Conference opener against the Wisconsin Baders, while holding on to collect as an 18-point road dog. The Nittany Lions connected from the field at a 46.2 percent clip, but logged a costly 15 turnovers compared to Wisconsin’s four.

Penn State’s Jermaine Marshall and Brandon Taylor combined for 27 points, uniting to drill 3-of-6 buckets beyond the arc. Nittany Lions forward Ross Travis notched a team-high 11 boards, leading his squad to outrebound Wisconsin, 31-28. 

The low-octane affair’s 111 points dipped UNDER the ‘total’ of 123 ½, with Penn State reaching the free-throw line just once all night. Nittany Lions guard D.J. Newbill logged four of his squad’s seven assists, while he and mate Sasa Borovnjak left with five personal fouls each.

Back Penn State at home 

The NCAA Basketball odds at Bookmaker.eu opened Indiana as a 17 ½-point road favorite, with early wagers on Penn State driving the number south to 16 ½. The ‘total’ was first set at 138, remaining unchanged after initial betting. 

I am tailing the early ‘steam’ here, taking the double digits with the Nittany Lions as part of my day’s NCAA Basketball picks. Penn State gave Wisconsin a closer than expected battle and should continue finding the rims with the shift back to Bryce Jordan Center.

The Nittany Lions went 3-0 ATS in their trio of home dates during December, notching a season-high 84 points in the stretch’s most recent affair with the Duquesne Dukes. Penn State’s Nick Colella drained 5-of-7 from three-point land  in that contest, while Newbill notched team-highs of 23 points and and 12 rebounds. 

Indiana has been overvalued in its battles away from Bloomington and went into conference play with its share of ‘cupcake’ blowouts. The Hoosiers have gone 4-9 ATS in their last 13 road games against squads with winning home records.

Penn State’s Ross Travis (7.7 RPG) ranks in the top five of the Big Ten for rebounding (7.7 RPG), just a few boards behind Indiana’s Cody Zeller (8.1 RPG). Travis grabbed a team-high six rebounds in last January’s meeting in University Park between these foes, with the Nittany Lions cashing as 6 ½-point home dogs in an 88-82 defeat. 

Look for Penn State to get the money again here, while Indiana gets caught looking ahead to this weekend’s marquee matchup with the No. 9 Minnesota Golden Gophers.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Penn State +17.5 at Bookamker