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Pick on the Spread for Iowa-Minnesota on January 15

VSiN’s Greg Peterson goes over the best betting options for Monday’s college basketball matchup between the Iowa Hawkeyes and Minnesota Golden Gophers

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NCAA Basketball: Maine at Minnesota Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Golden Gophers enter Monday’s home game with the Iowa Hawkeyes as one of the nation’s biggest upstarts at 3-2 in Big Ten play and will look to improve the nation’s best against the spread record at 14-2.

Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers (-1, 158.5)

The home and road splits have been very prevalent in Big Ten Conference play in recent seasons and these two teams have some of the most demonstrate splits in the conference.

An Iowa offense that entered the week 20th in the country in points scored on a per possession basis has not been the same away from home, averaging 20.3 points per 100 fewer than when at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

As for the Minnesota defense, they allow 24.3 points per 100 possessions fewer than in a road/neutral court environment, with opponents making just 29.5% of their 3-point shots against Minnesota at home compared to 34.4% away from home.

Perhaps the biggest reason why Minnesota has had so much success this season is the improved efficiency of point guard Elijah Hawkins, who led qualifying Division I players in turnovers per game a season ago while playing at Howard.

Hawkins has cut his turnovers per game from more than four to 2.7 while leading qualifying players with 7.7 assists per game, helping Minnesota go from ranking 335th in points per possession last season to 52nd, scoring 18.1 points more per 100 possessions this season than during the 2022-23 season.

Minnesota has also been much improved on the glass, entering the week ranked 38th in the nation in rebound rate while Iowa is 161st in this category with opponents getting an offensive rebound on 31.8% of their missed shots when Iowa is away from home.

With the Hawkeyes 337th in the country in opponent 2-point shooting percentage away from home and their offense being greatly diminished away from home, the Golden Gophers will continue their fast start with a win on Monday.

The Play: Minnesota -1