Iowa vs. Northwestern Predictions, Odds

  • January 17, 2021
  • By Thom Cunningham

The Northwestern Wildcats host the No. 5 ranked Iowa Hawkeyes in a Big Ten showdown on Sunday. Tip is set for noon (ET) and will air on CBS from the Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Illinois.



Iowa-Northwestern Betting Odds

  • Spread: Iowa -9
  • Money-Line: TBD
  • Total: 159

Odds Subject to Change

Iowa is the road favorite, given a -9-point spread against the Wildcats. Iowa has covered the spread in nine of its last 13 games this season, while Northwestern is split at 5-5 on the ATS.

The point total is a high 159, but that's because both offenses are high-powered. Iowa, a top three offense in the country, has gone OVER the point total in nine of 13 games this season. Northwestern has gone OVER in six of its last 10 games.


Betting Analysis – Iowa Hawkeyes

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 11-2
  • ATS: 9-4
  • SU - Home: 9-0
  • SU - Away: 2-2
  • O/U: 9-4

Iowa's big issue is on the road, but silenced a few doubters with an impressive road win against Rutgers. With some of the road rust shrugged off, expect a confident and dangerous Iowa team on Sunday. Luka Garza is a runaway favorite to win the Wooden Award, averaging nearly 30 points per game with 8.6 rebounds.

Jordan Bohannon is finally in double-digit point total, averaging 10.5 per game and becoming a quietly dangerous shooter from three. He shouldn't be though, but there's too many weapons on this Iowa offense he is often overlooked.

Joe Wieskamp is a regent scorer and rebounder, averaging 14.3 points per game and 6.5 boards. From there, Iowa has about five or six other guys that can produce given the opportunity (as Keegan Murray has proven to do).

Overall, there's no sense in going against Iowa's offense which ranks third nationally in points per game and second nationally in offensive efficiency. Typically that points to the point total going OVER, but Iowa has won money for bettors more times than not as this game should be no different.

Betting Analysis – Northwestern Wildcats

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 6-5, 5-5, 6-4
  • ATS: 5-5
  • SU - Home: 5-2
  • SU - Away: 1-3
  • O/U: 6-4

The Wildcats are in free fall mode right now, losing four straight games through a nine of 10 game stretch facing ranked opponents. Welcome to the Big Ten this year. This game doesn't get any easier, now facing the very team that began Northwestern's spiral downwards.

Iowa beat Northwestern by 15 points to end December, so the nine-point spread on the road seems to actually be leaning towards Northwestern in the eyes of bookmakers.

Miller Kopp did see an uptick in points per game after facing Ohio State, but Northwestern is beginning to show its defensive woes. The offense is typically there with Northwestern, but the Wildcats have seen their defensive efficiency drop to 98 (180th in the nation) and points allowed per game to 70 (179th in the nation).

With a defense in turmoil, it doesn't bode well for Chris Collins' team now facing a top two offense in the nation with the Wooden Award leader. No player on Northwestern averages more than 0.6 blocks per game, while the team ranks 244th nationally in steals per game (5.8).

The Wildcats have a lot of work to do if they want out of this losing-slump, but it starts on defense. Northwestern will only win a shootout with Iowa if the Hawkeyes see two or more players struggling to find a shot, so the focus for the Wildcats should be defense in this game and moving forward.

Inside the Stats – Iowa Hawkeyes

  • PS/G: 91.9 (3rd)
  • PA/G: 73.2 (244th)
  • Off Rtg: 124 (2nd)
  • Def Rtg: 98.8 (193rd)

Inside the Stats – Northwestern Wildcats

  • PS/G: 78.4 (73rd)
  • PA/G: 70 (179th)
  • Off Rtg: 109.7 (58th)
  • Def Rtg: 98 (180th)

Key Players to Watch

  • IOWA - Luka Garza (27.6 PPG, 8.6 RPG)
  • IOWA - Joe Wieskamp (14.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG)
  • NW - Miller Kopp (14 PPG)
  • NW - Chase Audige (12.9 PPG)

Iowa-Northwestern Predictions

Try not to overthink this one, as Iowa should be fine covering the ATS and OVER in this one. Iowa typically goes OVER because of a great offense paired with a woeful defense. Northwestern scored a lot against Ohio State (71 points), so its fair to assume they might touch 80 at home on a good afternoon.

Going OVER means Northwestern will score, so the spread will be shaky if that's the case. Still, you're ultimately playing the odds which points in the corner of Iowa for both popular markets. Iowa to win by -9 is fine, although the point total market seems to be slightly better based on two good offenses and a shaky Iowa defense on the road.

  • Score Prediction: Iowa 88 Northwestern 77
  • Best Bets: OVER
  • Best Bets: Iowa -9

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