The Big Ten Tourney battle between the Minnesota Golden Gophers (14-16, 8-12 Big 10) and the Northwestern Wildcats (8-22, 3-17 Big 10) will take place at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 137 points with Minnesota set as an 8.5-point favorite. Action begins at 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 11, 2020.
Northwestern Wildcats vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers Free Preview
The Wildcats beat the No. 20 Penn State Nittany Lions in their last contest, 80-69, despite being 7.5-point underdogs. Miller Kopp was the game’s leading scorer with 21 points on 8-for-14 shooting. The Wildcats knocked down 17 of their 23 free throws (73.9 percent) and had an effective field goal percentage of 0.563 (above their season average of 0.467). The two teams combined to score 149 points, which was over the projected point total of 140.5.
In the Golden Gophers’ last game, they easily covered the 16-point spread against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 107-75. Minnesota’s Marcus Carr had a solid performance, putting up 18 points and 11 assists. The Golden Gophers, who came into the game averaging an effective field goal percentage of 0.486, had a ridiculous mark of 0.694 and had an offensive rebounding percentage of 36.4 (above their season average of 31.1). The two teams collectively scored 182 points, which was well over the projected point total of 145.
Half-court execution will be critical when a pair of the country’s slowest-paced teams go head-to-head. Minnesota currently ranks 253rd in possessions per game (67.5) and Northwestern is 281st (67.0). The Wildcats should be expected to protect the ball well. They rank 18th at avoiding errors (turnover percentage of 15.7 percent), while the Golden Gophers force the 19th-fewest turnovers in the NCAA (opponents’ turnover percentage of 16.1 percent).
Of Northwestern’s 30 games, 15 have finished over the projected point total, while 16 of Minnesota’s 30 games have finished under the O/U total. Looking at straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records, the Golden Gophers have a clear advantage. They are 14-16 SU and 16-13-1 ATS, while the Wildcats are 8-22 SU and 13-17 ATS.
Northwestern Wildcats vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers Betting Prediction
Pick: SU Winner – Minnesota, ATS Winner – Minnesota, O/U – Over
Minnesota averages 39.2 rebounds per game, which ranks 30th in the NCAA. Northwestern ranks 250th in rebounds allowed per game (38.1).
Minnesota is 10-6-1 ATS at home, while Northwestern is 9-5 ATS on the road.
Minnesota is 3-1-1 ATS with 5 overs in its last five games.
Across its last five outings, Northwestern is 2-3 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under.
The Golden Gophers’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 10.0, up from 4.4 for the season.
During their last five games, the Wildcats have scored an average of 66.4 points per game (1.2 above their season average) and allowed an average of 73.0 points per game (3.1 above their season average).