NCAA Basketball Picks: Michigan vs. Minnesota

Jeff Grant

Thursday, January 17, 2013 12:27 PM GMT

Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 12:27 PM GMT

The Michigan Wolverines and Minnesota Golden Gophers are both coming off disappointing losses last time out. Now they will meet in a Big Ten Conference match-up Thursday night.


Let’s take a closer look at this sports pick between two high-profile ranked teams, from a bettor's perspective.

Bitter end

Michigan was unable to complete a 21-point comeback against the Ohio State Buckeyes Sunday, as it suffered a 56-53 setback as two-point road underdogs, while going UNDER the total for a second consecutive contest. The Wolverines missed out on their chance of becoming the No. 1 team in the nation, but are 12-4 against the spread (ATS) off a loss against a conference rival the last two-plus seasons.

Outclassed 

Minnesota also got off to a slow start in its last affair, suffering an 88-81 defeat to the Indiana Hoosiers as eight-point road underdogs Saturday, as it came out of the break facing a 23-point deficit. The Golden Gophers were out-rebounded by a 30-27 margin, but are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following a straight-up loss.

Series history

Sports bettors need to realize that the Wolverines have won seven of the last eight meetings in this series when looking over the college basketball odds, including a series sweep last year—despite failing to cover the spread as six and 5.5-point favorites. Michigan is 5-1 ATS in its last six trips to Minnesota, while the underdog has cashed a ticket in the last four meetings overall.

Pound the glass

A key statistic to focus in on during Big Ten Conference play is rebounding, as this matchup at Williams Arena has two of the best teams nationally in that particular category. Minnesota is second in the conference in out-rebounding opponents by a plus-9.9 margin, while Michigan is just a step below in that department (+9.4). Thursday night’s host creates a lot of its offense with second-chance opportunities, averaging 16.1 offensive rebounds per game.

Quite a backcourt

Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. are combining to average 34.1 points per game this season, as they give the Wolverines one of the more talented backcourts in college basketball this year. Burke scored a game-high 30 points on 11-of-14 shooting the last time these two teams met in last year’s Big Ten tournament, with Michigan coming out on top in a five-point overtime victory.

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Wolverines as one of their NCAA basketball picks, as they’ve compiled a money-making 21-11 ATS record as an underdog the last two-plus seasons. The Golden Gophers will fall to 0-5 SUATS in their last five opportunities as home favorites of three points or less.

[gameodds]14/217611/43/us[/gameodds]

College Basketball Picks: Michigan Wolverines +3 at 5Dimes

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