Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:47 AM

Rutgers vs Northwestern Predictions, Odds

  • January 31, 2021
  • By Thom Cunningham

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights look to keep their winning momentum alive with a sneaky tough road game against the Northwestern Wildcats. Tip off for this Big Ten game is set for 7:30 p.m. (ET) from the Welsh-Ryan Arena.



Rutgers-Northwestern Betting Odds

  • Spread: Rutgers -4
  • Money-Line: TBD
  • Total: 140.5

Odds Subject to Change

Rutgers enters as the road favorite, given a -4-point spread. The Scarlet Knights are 8-6-1 on the ATS this season, while Northwestern has basically split the ATS at 6-7.

The point total is at 140.5, with both schools going OVER more times than not. Rutgers is 8-6-1 on the O/U, while Northwestern has gone OVER in eight of 13 games.

Betting Analysis –Rutgers Scarlet Knights

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

  • SU: 9-6
  • ATS: 7-7-1
  • SU - Home: 7-3
  • SU - Away: 2-3
  • O/U: 8-6-1

The roller-coaster season for Rutgers continued with a Michigan State beatdown, as the current coaster is on a high. It's hard not to think Rutgers continues its hot streak against a sluggish Northwestern club.

Ron Harper, Jr. is beginning to play at a very assertive pace, while Jacob Young (although turning it over too much) is playing at a productively fast pace.

The strength of this team is experience, so it's not a surprise to see the Scarlet Knights shot out of a cannon after dropping five straight games. They're beginning to assert their will on lesser-talented teams, which would include Northwestern. It appears Penn State was the final straw that broke the camel's back, but the schedule becomes very difficult after Northwestern.

Rutgers can't look ahead to Minnesota or Iowa, or the Wildcats' offense will make them pay. The Scarlet Knights have been very aware on defense the last two games, something that was missing in their five-game slump. If Rutgers continues to focus on their defense they should be fine. The fact that Rutgers, an experienced team, was able to identify their defensive weakness then fix it Is an encouraging sign moving forward.

Betting Analysis – Northwestern Wildcats

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

  • SU: 6-8
  • ATS: 6-7
  • SU - Home: 5-3
  • SU - Away: 1-5
  • O/U: 8-5

Northwestern's offense gives them the chance to compete in every game within the Big Ten. Northwestern's defense is the complete opposite, which has progressively gotten worse.

The Wildcats' defensive efficiency rating has dropped to 102.4, which ranks 254th nationally. Also, they allow 72.5 points per game which ranks 233rd in the country. While the defense has gotten worse, the offense remains the same.

Northwestern averages the 90th-most points per game, along with the 77th-highest offensive efficiency rating in the nation. They average the 29th-most assists per game (16.8), they hit 37.4% of their three-pointers (48th in nation) and are 93rd nationally with a 73% free throw percentage.

However, they rank 246th in total rebounds per game (34.2), 258th in steals per game (5.6) and 278th in blocks per game (2.3). Essentially, there is no defense. Rutgers is too good of an offense for Northwestern to contain, so unless the Wildcats figure it out on defense they will lean on their offense.

The issue with their offense is that there is no rebounding, which means missed shots are more ill-afforded than usual. This puts pressure on Miller Kopp, Chase Audige and Pete Nance to not only play well - but play almost to perfection.

Inside the Stats – Rutgers Scarlet Knights

  • PS/G: 73 (152nd)
  • PA/G: 68.9 (146th)
  • Off Rtg: 105 (116th)
  • Def Rtg: 99 (183rd)

Inside the Stats – Northwestern Wildcats

  • PS/G: 76.1 (90th)
  • PA/G: 72.5 (233rd)
  • Off Rtg: 107.5 (77th)
  • Def Rtg: 102.4 (254th)

Key Players to Watch

  • RUTG - Ron Harper, Jr. (17.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG)
  • RUTG - Jacob Young (14.3 PPG, 3.9 APG)
  • NW - Miller Kopp (13.6 PPG)
  • NW - Chase Audige (12 PPG)

Rutgers-Northwestern Predictions

Rutgers should win this game, but the point total odds is a much better play. Feel free to take the Scarlet Knights at -4 if you want, but the combined O/U for both teams is 16-11-1 which slightly leans OVER.

The total is 140.5, which seems a bit low for two teams that should clear the 70-point total. Neither defense is good, which is sugarcoating it, while the offenses are high-powered and high-scoring. This should be a back-and-forth scoring affair between two desperate teams on opposite ends of the momentum swing.

  • Score Prediction: Rutgers 74 Northwestern 70
  • Best Bets: OVER

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