Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers Predictions 2/25/22

by | Feb 25, 2022 | cbb

Iowa Hawkeyes (19-8 SU, 16-11 ATS) vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-20, 13-14 ATS)

When: Friday, February 25, 9 p.m.

Where: Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Neb.

TV: FS1

Point Spread: IOWA -11/NEB +11 (BAS - Why bet on games at -105 odds when you could be laying only -105 here?)

Moneyline: IOWA -700/NEB +450

Total: 161.5

Last Time Out:

Iowa crushed Michigan State 86-60; Nebraska lost 77-65 to Northwestern.

About the Matchup:

Its senior night in Lincoln, but theres really not much for anyone in red to celebrate here. Nebraska comes in with virtually zero hope of postseason play, as their loss to Northwestern clinched Fred Hoibergs third consecutive 20-loss season in three years in Lincoln. To put that in perspective, Hoiberg only lost 56 games in five years at Iowa State, so its pretty fair to say that Nebraska has done a lot of losing with him in the head coachs chair.

But the one thing that Nebraska hasnt done with Hoiberg in command is lose to Iowa at home. In fact, the Mayor has tortured the Hawkeyes whether hes been at Iowa State or Nebraska, as he has never lost a home game to Iowa at either school, boasting a 5-0 record against the Hawkeyes in Ames and Lincoln as a player and coach.

With or without Hoiberg on the other bench, Pinnacle Bank Arena has been a house of horrors for the Hawkeyes, who are 1-5 in Lincoln since Nebraska opened the building in 2013. For whatever reason, this is the one game on the schedule that the Cornhuskers seem to get up for, regardless of how bad their record is. Can they put together a decent performance in an otherwise lost season?

Scouting the Hawkeyes:

If Keegan Murray is able to do what he did to Nebraska when the teams met in Iowa City, good luck with staying close, Huskers. Iowa hammered Nebraska by 23 points last time out, and Murray going for 37 and Iowa getting off 76 shots was a large reason for that. The Hawkeyes are at their best when they run up and down the floor, and Murray is one of the biggest reasons they find success doing that.

The rest of the teams performance was a bit of a concern. Iowa operates under the MO that no shot is a bad shot, but going 6-for-17 from Patrick McCaffery and Jordan Bohannon isnt exactly an ideal situation. The fact that the Hawkeyes got to 98 points with their guards not shooting great says a lot about just how quickly Iowa gets up and down the floor, but the downside of that is that the other team gets a lot of possessions too, and if Iowa starts missing shots, it could give Nebraska the opportunity it needs to get hot and hang around. Remember, Iowa didnt win that game by locking down on the Huskers or keeping them off the glass: the Hawkeyes won by sheer volume of looks. If Iowas not hitting outside of Murray, the door is wide open.

Scouting the Cornhuskers:

When Bryce McGowens is hitting from the outside, Nebraska is going to hang around. When his shots arent dropping, the Huskers usually get creamed. Against Iowa, he went 3-for-13 from the field and 1-for-6 from deep, and Nebraska predictably wasnt able to keep up with the Hawkeyes.

But in that blowout, there were a few reasons for Nebraska to hope. They didnt get destroyed on the boards, battling Iowa to a draw in that category. They managed to win the second half, outscoring Iowa 50-45 in the games final 20 minutes. Plus, they actually improved a bit on their previous two visits to Iowa City, where theyd lost by 38 and 24 points.

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Nebraskas probably not going to win this game, but the Huskers are going to play with nothing to lose. This game could give Nebraska something real to take to next season, making this a dangerous trap for Iowa.

Iowa will Cover If: The Hawkeyes can get on a run early in the game. The longer this game goes as a competitive ballgame, the more Nebraska will begin to think that it can actually win. The Huskers know what theyve done to the Hawkeyes in this building before, and Iowa has to crush that hope right away.

Nebraska will Cover If: The Huskers can get McGowens going. If hes shooting the ball well, Nebraska will be able to keep up with Iowa. Good shots are going to be available against the Hawkeyes, who struggle to play defense in the best of scenarios. Nebraska needs to knock them down.

Dan’s Best Prop Bets

Nebraska got to 75 on Iowas defense in Iowa City. Are we really going to trust the Hawkeyes defense to hold them to less than that in a building where theyve had no success since 2015? Iowa might win the game, but the Hawkeyes weak defense means theyll probably give up 76 or more in the process, so I like Nebraskas team total over 75.

Dans Pick to Cover the Spread

This does not feel like the type of game that Iowa is going to take seriously. The Hawkeyes have just plastered Michigan State and Ohio State, and theyre likely ready for a mental break. Nebraska isnt likely to give them one here. The Huskers should play with nothing to lose, and I think they can put a scare into the Hawkeyes here.

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