Michigan vs. Iowa Predictions 2/17/22

by | Feb 17, 2022 | cbb

Michigan Wolverines (13-10 SU, 9-14 ATS) vs. Iowa Hawkeyes (17-7, 14-10 ATS)

When: Thursday, February 17, 7 p.m.

Where: Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, Iowa

TV: ESPN

Point Spread: MICH +6/IOWA -6 (MyBookie - Use bonus code PREDICT100 to get a 100% bonus!)

Moneyline: MICH +170/IOWA -200

Total: 151.5

Last Time Out:

Michigan lost 68-57 to Ohio State; Iowa crushed Nebraska 98-75.

About the Matchup:

Michigan’s success allergy popped up again, and now the Wolverines have a challenging task ahead of them as they try to stay on the bubble for the NCAA tournament. The Wolverines looked like world-beaters against Purdue, but they turned around and faded against archrival Ohio State, handing the Buckeyes their first win over a decent Big Ten opponent all season. Now Michigan finds itself again needing a result to get back on the right side of the bubble with time quickly running out.

The problem is, they’re running into Iowa at what might be an awful time to play the Hawkeyes. Iowa has looked excellent in February, boat-racing Maryland, and Nebraska and averaging — yes, averaging — 104 points per game in those two contests. Of course, a cynic might point out that neither the Terrapins nor the Cornhuskers are likely to play postseason basketball and that they averaged 81 points against Iowa, a sign of how weak the Hawkeye defense is. But defense has never been Iowa’s strong suit anyway; the Hawkeyes are more interested in racing past their opponents and doing just enough on defense to give them one more possession than their foe. If Michigan can’t get more aggressive on the court, Iowa will cruise to another win.

Scouting the Wolverines:

A look at the numbers suggests that Michigan should have been right there with Ohio State in its loss to the Buckeyes. The Wolverines didn’t shoot well, but they didn’t shoot egregiously bad and made the same number of baskets as Ohio State. Nor did Ohio State win the game on the 3-point arc, and Michigan even won the battle of the rebounds. What was the difference? Ohio State sank 16 free throws. Michigan only attempted six. There’s your ballgame, as the Buckeyes outscored the Wolverines by 11 at both the stripe and on the scoreboard.

That’s a lack of positive aggression on the part of the Wolverines, and it’s not going to work if Michigan plays timid against Iowa. When the Wolverines faced Ohio State, they didn’t get the ball inside often enough and didn’t draw fouls from their opposition. Instead, they settled for subpar looks, and when you take the shots the opponent doesn’t mind you taking, you’re eventually going to miss them.

Michigan has to do a better job making Hunter Dickinson part of the offense in this game. Dickinson did score 14 points against Iowa, but he needed 17 shots to do it and only hit seven of them. Michigan has to be more efficient to score with Iowa.

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Scouting the Hawkeyes:

It’s not easy to get off 76 shots in a game. That’s an average of almost two shots a minute in a situation where only 80 possessions are guaranteed for the entire contest, which says a lot about just how fast the Hawkeyes like to play. Iowa will push the tempo from start to finish, counting on the fact that they’re going to put up a ton of shots to make the difference.

When the Hawkeyes shoot 51 percent, as they did against Nebraska, it’s just hard as heck to score with them, especially when Keegan Murray is getting off 21 of Iowa’s attempts. In this offense, there’s really no such thing as a bad look at the hoop, and there’s also not much in the way of defense. Iowa can play defense in some situations if a team makes it slow down, but the Hawkeyes really would rather not. Iowa has allowed four of its past five opponents to hit 75 points, and that’s because Iowa much prefers to play out a track meet than a rock fight.

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Michigan will Cover If: The Wolverines can take and make good shots. You will get good looks against Iowa. The Hawkeyes are not good defenders, and if you work for your shot, it will come open at some point. The Wolverines have to make sure they don’t miss.

Iowa will Cover If: The Hawkeyes can avoid giving up easy baskets. Michigan is a solid rebounding team, and Iowa will have to do its job on the glass to get its offense going. The Hawkeyes really don’t turn it over (they rank first in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio), so they shouldn’t be too worried about Michigan steals. The real concern is the Wolverines getting second chances inside.

Dan’s Best Prop Bets

It’s hard to see Michigan slowing Iowa down. Past Wolverine squads might have forced Iowa into a rock fight, but this Michigan team is far more willing to run than previous ones, and the over should be in play.

Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread

The Wolverines have bounced back and forth, and they’re now due to play out one of their good games again. There’s also the very real chance that Michigan’s failures against Ohio State might have been a letdown after hammering Purdue. The Wolverines should be refocused, and that should give them a shot here. I think Iowa wins the game, but I’ll back Michigan to cover. Looking to add another rock solid out to your sports betting arsenal? We tested out the payout timing at Betonline Sportsbook last week and it took less than 30 minutes to receive a Bitcoin payout! They’re a MUST HAVE if you’re serious about betting on games!