Willie’s NCAAB season picks record: 28-24-2 (+2.75 units)
Sunday, 4:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
Free NCAAB Pick: Indiana ATS
Best Line Offered: BetOnline
Yeah, I know. The majority of the betting public will sit in front of their big screen televisions this Sunday mesmerized by the NFL Playoffs. That’s a shame since the NCAA basketball odds card has a strong roster of games, including a crucial Big Ten matchup of ranked teams in Ann Arbor where the Michigan Wolverines host the Indiana Hoosiers.
Both sides come into the clash with perfect 3-0 records in conference play, meaning the winner of this one will join the winner of Saturday’s Michigan State-Ohio State battle at the top of the ranks heading into next week. Despite the Hoosiers and Wolverines sitting close statistically, the sportsbooks see the contest at Crisler Arena firmly in Michigan’s favor.
Freshmen Langford & Brazdeikis Worth Price Of Admission
Indiana used a strong second half to set down Illinois by a 73-65 count on Thursday. The Hoosiers hadn’t played for 11 days, and it showed early on with the Illini building a 10-point lead in the first half before Indiana got things going. Romeo Langford had a career-best 28, including the first 10 Hoosier points in the second half. Michigan also found itself in a close fight with Penn State the same night before pulling away for the 68-55 victory. Ignas Brazdeikis tallied a double-double (16 pts, 11 reb) to lead the Wolverines who snapped a 5-game skid against the spread while posting their sixth “under” winner in the last seven contests.
There are some injury concerns for both teams heading into Sunday’s skirmish. Indiana has battled injuries since the beginning of the campaign, and will likely be without freshman Rob Phinisee for a third consecutive game due to concussion protocol. The Wolverines are listing Isaiah Livers as questionable with a back issue. The 6-7 sophomore missed Michigan’s win over Penn State after scoring a career-high 17 points in the game before that against Binghamton.
Down ‘Under’ Strongest Trends In Rivalry
Indiana has a rather lopsided 106-59 advantage in the rivalry, but Michigan has been cutting into that margin by winning and covering the last four. The teams haven’t met since December 2017, their lone matchup last season, and it took place in Ann Arbor where the Wolverines cruised to a 69-55 triumph laying 7½. The underdog has covered seven of the last nine, with ‘under’ bettors holding winning tickets 11 of the last 15 encounters at Crisler Arena.
That “under” trend looks sweet, especially factoring in both sides are 4-10 O/U on the season. Put me down for a free NCAA basketball pick on the Hoosiers covering in a defensive dogfight.