Minnesota vs Iowa Odds, Picks and Predictions: Buckets Pile Up in Iowa City

Iowa has arguably the best offense in the nation, but its defense has been horrendous. With the Gophers plenty capable of stuffing the stat sheet, our college basketball picks are expecting tons of points this afternoon.

Feb 11, 2024 • 10:28 ET • 4 min read
Dawson Garcia Minnesota Golden Gophers NCAAB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

While there may not be a ton on the line as the Minnesota Golden Gophers head to Carver-Hawkeye Arena to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes, this is a Big Ten game that could make or break Ben Johnson’s program’s chances of playing into March.

Johnson has turned the Gophers program around in his third season, but now faces an Iowa team that brings a devastating offense to the court. The college basketball odds have the Hawkeyes favored by 6.5 points at home in a game that will be defined by whether or not Minnesota can keep up with Iowa.

Find out where my best bets lie in my free college basketball picks for Minnesota vs. Iowa on Sunday, February 11.

Minnesota vs Iowa best odds

Minnesota vs Iowa picks and predictions

Even in a down year for Fran McCaffery and the Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa has one of the best offenses in the country. The issue, and the reason the team is just 13-10, is the defense is one of the worst in all of college basketball. With the total set at 154.5, the Minnesota Golden Gophers have the talent to push this one Over in a game that should prove whether or not Minnesota can make some real noise in the Big Ten tournament.

Minnesota is ranked just 105th in adjusted offensive efficiency this season, per KenPom, but the Gophers are still averaging a respectable 75.7 points per game and have scored at least 73 points in six of 11 Big Ten games this season. While Minnesota couldn’t pick up the win at home the last time it played Iowa in mid-January, Johnson’s program did show it can hang points when it needs to.

Although the Gophers fell to Iowa 86-77, the game perfectly showcased what forward Dawson Garcia is capable of against a bad defense. Garcia, who is averaging 17.3 ppg this season, dropped 30 in the first matchup with the Hawkeyes. He’s poised to have another big outing with his size at 6-foot-11, 230 lbs being a mismatch.

What makes Minnesota such a tough team to defend at times is Garcia’s ability to dominate inside while being surrounded by competent shooters outside. The Gophers are shooting 47.5% from the floor this season, 46th in the country, and hitting 34.1% of their threes..

Iowa lends to opponents putting up big numbers because of how high-flying McCaffery’s offense is, and Minnesota can make the most of those extra possessions. This season, the Hawkeyes are allowing 77.7 ppg and have only held Big Ten teams to less than 77 points three times in 12 games.

In conference, Iowa is allowing 80.1 ppg, which is a huge reason why the Hawkeyes are just 149th in adjusted defensive efficiency this season. Garcia’s poised to beat up on Iowa down low with the Hawkeyes allowing 20.2 twos per game this season and teams shooting 51% from inside the arc.

What’s kept this Iowa team afloat and makes it so dangerous is its offense. The Hawkeyes are putting up 84 ppg this season and rank 18th in adjusted offensive efficiency. Minnesota is allowing just 67.6 ppg this season, but teams are shooting 34% from three against the program and getting plenty of opportunity to put up shots with opponents averaging 41.7 twos per game. 

With Iowa’s lack of defense and offensive pace and Minnesota allowing teams to shoot plenty of twos, this game should be a race to 80.

My best bet: Over 154.5 (-110 at bet365)

Minnesota vs Iowa same-game parlay

Over 154.5

Dawson Garcia Over 17.5

Ben Krikke Over 12.5 points

For Minnesota to compete with Iowa, Dawson Garcia needs to come to play. The former starter at Marquette and North Carolina has been carrying the Gophers offense all season and his inside ability should pose a major threat to a Hawkeyes team allowing opponents to shoot 45 twos per game.

Garcia has had at least 18 points in nine of 19 games this season, including four of his last six. In his last six games, he’s averaging 19 points per game. To compete with Garcia, Iowa will need to lean on a big of its own in Ben Krikke.

The Valparaiso transfer is averaging 15 points per game this season and had 25 the last time these two teams played. He’s had at least 13 points in 13 of 23 games.

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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Minnesota vs Iowa spread and Over/Under analysis

Iowa opened between a 5.5 and 6.5-point home favorite with most books dipping down to 5.5 before settling in at 6.5. While Iowa is a solid favorite, Minnesota has been the best team against the spread in the country this season. The Gophers are 19-3 ATS and 9-2 in the Big Ten. Iowa on the other hand has really struggled ATS, with the Hawkeyes 9-14 ATS this season and 4-8 in the Big Ten.

With the Hawkeyes style of play, the game total opened as high as 155.5 before dropping down to 153.5 and coming back up to 154.5. Iowa is 15-8 betting the Over this season and 7-5 in the Big Ten while Minnesota is 11-11 betting the Over, including 4-2 in its last six.

Minnesota vs Iowa betting trend to know

Iowa has hit the game total Over in 20 of its last 32 games (+6.80 Units / 19% ROI).. Find more college basketball betting trends for Minnesota vs. Iowa.

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Minnesota vs Iowa game info

Location: Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, IA
Date: Sunday, February 11, 2024
Tip-off: 3:00 p.m. ET
TV: Big Ten Network

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