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February 14, 2016 (10:02 AM ET)

Take Minnesota at +20 spread against Iowa for 3% of the bankroll.

There is certainly no question that these two teams are on opposite sides of the spectrum this season. The Iowa Hawkeyes are having a tremendous year and currently sit in a tie for first place in the Big 10. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Golden Gophers are having a season that many of the coaches and players would like to forget. Minnesota has won just 6 games all season and are currently winless in conference play this season.

The Iowa Hawkeyes are coming off just their second conference loss as they fell to the Indiana Hoosiers at Assembly Hall on Thursday night. While the Hawkeye players will no doubt be looking to bounce back in this contest, that defeat against Indiana was a very emotional game. Having to deal with giving up sole possession of first place and now going up against a team that is winless in conference play, it could be very tough for this team to get motivated to square off against a struggling team. This could likely cause them to come out a bit flat in this contest. Even if they do somehow play inspired basketball, laying 20 points against any team leaves very little margin for error. Even if Iowa mounts a commanding lead in the first half, it leaves them vulnerable in the second half as players often take their foot off the gas which allows opponents to mount a comeback and close the gap. Iowa likely does not care whether they win this game by 2 or 20 which leaves door open for the Gophers to grab a backdoor cover.

Minnesota, for all of their struggles this season should come into this contest motivated. They don't have a lot to be proud of this season and there is no chance that they will even receive an invitation to the NIT this season. At this point they are simply playing for pride and this is a chance, in this matchup, to regain some of that. They are going up against the leaders of the Big 10 and should put everything that they have into this contest. They also don't want to finish the season without a single conference win so you can expect them to do everything within their power to fight for that first win. Even though it is likely that they come up short, we do believe they can keep this game within the generous 20 point gap the oddsmakers have set.

From an entertainment perspective, this is likely not the type of game many will want to watch. We expect it to be ugly at times as Iowa is undoubtedly the more talented team in this contest. It's likely that Iowa will mount a lead and that Minnesota will be playing from behind for a majority of the game. We don't expect the Gophers to challenge for the outright win in this contest, however we do believe the oddsmakers have inflated this number just a bit too much. Late in the second half we expect the Hawkeyes to let up on both the offensive and defensive end and for Golden Gophers to go on a bit of a run in order to close the gap and keep the game within this number.




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