The Minnesota Golden Gophers and Iowa Hawkeyes hook up in Iowa City on Sunday as both look to ascend in what was a very big middle tier in the Big Ten standings.
Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Iowa Hawkeyes (-6.5, 153.5)
The Hawkeyes already own a win over Minnesota, going on the road for an 86-77 victory on January 15 and will look to build off of that performance with how different both of these teams have played at home as opposed to away from home.
In the first meeting, Iowa shot just 3-of-13 from 3-point range and should improve on that — shooting 35.4% from 3-point range at home compared to 32.3% in road games. Overall, Iowa entered the weekend ranked 22nd in the nation in points scored on a per-possession basis while averaging 12.5 points more per 100 possessions at home as opposed to road games.
The Hawkeyes face a Golden Gophers defense that struggles far more when playing on the road, ranking 46th in the nation’s top in points allowed on a per-possession basis and allowing 19.8 points more per 100 possessions when playing on the road as opposed to playing at home.
Minnesota should also shoot better from 3-point range than it did in the first matchup, shooting just 5-of-29 from 3-point range and ranking 164th in 3-point shooting percentage at 34.1%. That percentage then dips to 29.9% when playing away from home — the previous performance was an outlier.
The style in which Iowa plays also lends itself to a scoring outburst from both teams with Iowa ranked 214th in the nation in points allowed on a per-possession basis and 37th in total possessions per game, playing at a rate of 3.9 possessions per game at home than on the road.
The first time these two teams met, the game was a high-scoring affair despite combining for a 8-of-42 clip from 3-point range and with Iowa having scored at least 75 points in 31 of its last 33 games at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Sunday’s tilt will feature tons of scoring.
The Play: Minnesota vs. Iowa Over 153.5