Northwestern vs. Iowa: NCAA Basketball Picks

David Lawrence

Thursday, March 13, 2014 12:44 PM GMT

Thursday, Mar. 13, 2014 12:44 PM GMT

Two slumping teams will be in action on Thursday night in Big Ten conference play as the Northwestern Wildcats square off with the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Hawkeyes have won both meetings by exactly 26 points, so that should give sports bettors a nice place to start.

The Wildcats can win because…

The Hawkeyes have been completely falling apart. When you take a look at what’s happened to Iowa over the last couple of weeks, it’s hard not to bet against them with your college basketball picks. After all, we’re talking about a team that was in the Top 25. They’ve lost five of six and have dropped all the way to sixth in the Big Ten standings. Opponents have been shooting 52% against the Hawkeyes in that span of six games and each of their five losses was by 10 points or more. It’s not as if they are losing nail-biters; they are getting crushed. Their lone win in that span was against a lousy Purdue team that’s dead-last in the Big Ten.

Although the Wildcats are the second-worst team in the Big Ten, does Iowa sound like the type of team you really want to be laying 12.5 points with? They’ve only been favored by that margin on the college basketball odds once in the last 17 years. There’s probably a reason for that.

Looking for more Big 10 action? Read our NCAA Basketball Picks: Purdue vs. Ohio State article.

The Hawkeyes can win because…

Northwestern is a gong show these days. Sure, Iowa has been struggling for a couple of weeks but Northwestern has been a mess all season long. The Wildcats have lost seven of their last eight games, are just 6-12 in the Big Ten and 13-18 overall. That’s a huge contrast to Iowa, who sits at 20-11. 

The Wildcats offense has been completely pathetic in Big Ten play. They lost No. 2 scorer JerShon Cobb for the season and their offense has been listless since. Despite piling up 74 points against league-worst Purdue, the Wildcats have averaged just 51.7 points in their previous seven. They lack depth in the worst way as six players played all but four minutes in that victory over Purdue last Sunday. 

Iowa’s offense will simply be too much. The Wildcats are just 1-8 ATS when facing teams that average 77 points or more per game and that stat is likely to climb to 1-9 on Thursday. 

[gameodds]14/261551/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Outlook & Pick

The Hawkeyes have been struggling but the Wildcats have been laboring even worse. Although at a first glance, the reaction might be to avoid laying the 12.5 points with Iowa, the reality is that Northwestern is going to have a tough time keeping up. The Hawkeyes pounded the Wildcats 76-50 back on January 25th in Evanston. When they met in Iowa, the Hawkeyes also rolled them by 26 as well (93-67). This game is being played at a neutral site and the Wildcats are without their second-leading scorer. 

The Hawkeyes are 5-0 (SU) and 3-0 (ATS) against teams with a losing record this season. They’re likely to pad those numbers in this one.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Iowa -12.5 at Bodog

Take a look at our favorite NCAA Basketball Picks for tonight's action.

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