Iowa center Luka Garza shoots during an NCAA college basketball game against Western Illinois, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
- #4 Iowa (7-1) goes to Minnesota (7-1) on Christmas Night at 8:00 PM ET
- Both teams followed up a loss with a win in their last game
- See the odds, spread, analysis, and best bet, below
We are in for a late Christmas present when the #4 Iowa Hawkeyes travel to the Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minnesota to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers at 8:00 PM EST.
The Hawkeyes shook off a loss at the hands of #1 Gonzaga on the 19th and beat up Purdue 70-55 the last time they took the floor. Minnesota beat a very good Saint Louis team 90-82 after getting smashed by Illinois 92-65 in their previous game on the 15th.
The Gophers lead the all-time series 101-90 but it was the Hawkeyes who won last season’s matchup 58-55. Iowa is favored by 6.5 points in this matchup.
Iowa Hawkeyes vs Minnesota Golden Gophers Odds
|Iowa Hawkeyes||-6.5 (-104)||-275||Over 162.5 (-114)|
|Minnesota Golden Gophers||+6.5 (-118)||+225||Under 162.5 (-106)|
Odds as of December 24th at FanDuel.
Iowa Is a Well-Oiled Machine
Fourth-ranked Iowa took a 99-88 beating at the hands of #1 Gonzaga on December 19th which may have caused many to wonder how they would react. It didn’t take long to get the answer as the Hawkeyes smacked Purdue around for 40 minutes three days later. The Boilermakers’ 35th ranked defense according to KenPom did all they could to slow down the Hawkeyes’ top ranked offense, but Luka Garza and company were just too much to handle.
Luka Garza has now scored at least 20 points in 17 straight Big Ten conference games dating back to last season.
That’s the longest such streak in the conference over the last 25 seasons. pic.twitter.com/r8c58eSNsI
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 23, 2020
Garza led the way for the Hawkeyes with 22 points which was his 17th straight 20 point Big Ten conference game with at least 20 points. Garza scored 10 of the first 16 points for Iowa who raced to a 37-27 halftime lead. Joe Wieskamp chipped in with 17 points and nine boards in the win.
Iowa currently leads the nation with 95.1 points per game. Despite a 5+ minute scoring drought in the first half and a 4+ minute scoring drought in the second half, the Hawkeyes were still able to hang 70 points on a tough Purdue defense. The Boilermakers did all they could to slow the game down to the snail’s pace they like to play at but it was to no avail.
2021 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Odds Tracker
Marcus Carr Is A Beast
Minnesota fought some adversity of their own beating a solid Saint Louis team 90-82 after getting crushed by Illinois by almost 30 points the game before. As usual Golden Gopher leading scorer, Marcus Carr, was fantastic in the victory. Carr dropped in 32 points marking the fourth straight game he was able to deliver 28 points or more. He was a one-man wrecking crew in the game’s final 13 seconds which never allowed the previously undefeated Billikens to get closer than 7 points.
#MarcusCarr masterful in last non-conference game of Minnesota’s schedule vs Saint Louis Sunday
Played entire 40 MIN recorded 31 PTS on 8/15 FG (2/7 3PT, 14/19 FT), 7 AST, 4 STL and 3 REB.
Next up a date with No.3 Iowa on X-mas Day pic.twitter.com/yWteeZ4e5c
— Hoops Hype Canada (@HoopsHypeCA) December 21, 2020
Carr was not the only Golden Gopher to shine as four other Minnesota players reached double digits. Gabe Kalscheur and Both Gach poured in 11 points while Liam Robbins and Isaiah Ihnen contributed with 10 each. As a team, Minnesota was able to shoot 48% from the field including 40% from three-point land.
Best Betting Angle
This could be a wild shootout as both teams play at an ultra-fast pace. According to KenPom, Minnesota plays at the 18th fastest pace in the nation while Iowa is not far behind at 30. Both teams average more than 82.5 points per game as a result of the pace plus highly efficient offenses.
Ultimately, this one could turn into a Luka Garza game. Minnesota is likely to try to play Liam Robbins on Garza which has no chance of working. Robbins is a foul machine that has already fouled out of two games while committing four in three others. He is a good bet to get into early foul trouble and after he’s gone the Golden Gopher’s options are very limited.
Iowa could score over 80 points in this game like the last two Golden Gopher opponents but Minnesota could also keep pace reasonably as well in this one. The only game that Marcus Carr looked even semi-ordinary in this season was the Illinois game but Iowa doesn’t have the personnel to guard him like the Fighting Illini. Jalen Suggs just put up 27 points against the Hawkeyes in the Gonzaga loss so it’s not far-fetched to think Carr will have similar success. If he does, this game should fly over the total.
Pick: Over 162.5 (-114)
John has spent the past 20+ years betting sports on a daily basis and is considered by many to be a walking sports betting encyclopedia. From obscure player props to sides and totals, if there is an angle, John will find it.