February 19, 2017
There is one College Hoops pick today.
#1: Take Minnesota -1 spread against Michigan for 3% of the bankroll.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are in a great position to do something that they have not done since the 2011 season and that is earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament. A victory tonight over the Michigan Wolverines would give Richard Pitino's team 20 wins for the first time in his four-year tenure. This matchup carries a lot of weight for the Golden Gophers since Michigan has owned this series as of late, having won 13 of the last 14 meetings between these two teams. This is arguably the very best team Minnesota has had in quite some time and the fact that the oddsmakers have opened the home team as the favorites show exactly how they believe this game is going to play out.
Even though Michigan comes into this contest having won three straight, their struggles on the road this season have been well documented. They have lost 5 of their last 6 games on the high and are just 1-6 in true road games this season. Big Blue also hasn't been a great rebounding team this season and that is something that we expect to be a difference maker in this contest. Michigan is averaging just 30 rebounds per game on the road, while Minnesota has been dominant on the glass, averaging 42 boards at home. If Michigan isn't efficient from the floor in taking high percentage shots, it will be difficult for them to get many second chance opportunities against a Minnesota team that cleans up on the glass extremely well.
This is the lone meeting between these teams and a victory for Minnesota would likely lock them into the upcoming tournament. They have won four straight and carry a ton of momentum into this contest. The Barn is a tough place for opposing teams to play and given the amount of success that Michigan has had over this program, we expect both the players and coaching staff to be motivated to change the history of this series. We expect the fan to be out in masses for tonight's contest and they rowdy environment that they are likely to create for the visitors should be enough to inspire the home team to put forth a strong effort in this contest. This matchup is likely to be close, Michigan has a ton of talent on their roster and have a true go-to player in Derrick Walton. If the Golden Gophers can play solid fundamental basketball and contain the efforts of Walton, that should be enough to propel them to victory on their home floor.
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