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February 28, 2018

There is one pick today.

Take Minnesota PK spread against Rutgers for 3% of the bankroll.

It's fair to say that both teams have had extremely underwhelming seasons. But they've also had them for very different reasons. Minnesota improved to 8-1 on the season following its 89-67 victory over Rutgers on Dec. 3 and were 10 games over .500 exactly one month later before its season took a turn for the worst in January, as the team lost Amir Coffey for most of the year to a shoulder injury and suspended senior center Reggie Lynch. The Gophers are only 2-13 since their 13-3 start and have been largely uncompetitive in most of those contests. That being said, Rutgers hasn't fared much better over the last 15 games, losing by at least 10 points nine times while going 3-12. The Scarlet Knights completed their 12th consecutive sub-.500 regular season Sunday, dropping a 75-62 decision at home to Illinois. Minnesota's season was ruined by injuries and a suspension; Rutgers on the other hand is simply a historically bad team.

As bad as the Gophers had been, this is still a team with talent. Jordan Murphy has been a bright spot and leads the team in scoring (17 points), the conference in rebounding (11.4) and the country in double-doubles (24). Senior Nate Mason ranked fourth in the Big Ten in scoring during conference play (18.6 points) and improved on several of the marks from his All-Big Ten First Team junior campaign, including points per game (from 15.2 to 16.8) and 3-point percentage (from 36 to 39.5). Freshman Isaiah Washington (8.4 points) has flashed over the last month, averaging 13.3 points while reaching double figures in five of seven games.

Let's not forget, in the pre-season Minnesota was picked as a dark-horse to potentially contend for the conference championship, which shows just how much potential this team had going into the year. Rutgers on the other hand finished just about where they were expected to finish, and they haven't done much to help their cause. The Scarlet Knights have not scored 70 points since the put up 76 in a two-point home loss against Purdue on Feb. 3. Since then, they’ve averaged just 55 points per game over their last six games. We don't believe that is going to cut it tonight in the opener of the Big 10 tournament. Minnesota has already handled Rutgers once this season and they should be able to do it again. They are the better team in this contest and should come away with the victory.

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