Penn State at Minnesota
|Date & Time||Thursday March 14, 2019, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
Penn State Nittany Lions -2.5 -- O/U: 136
The Penn State Nittany Lions and the Minnesota Golden Gophers meet in a Big Ten tournament second round matchup from the United Center on Thursday night.
The Penn State Nittany Lions enter the tournament as the #10 seed, finishing the regular season with a 14-17 overall record, including 7-13 in Big Ten play to finish in a 3-way tie for 10th, winning out for the highest seed and a first round bye due to a tiebreaker. Penn State had some tough opposition with a win over Virginia Tech as well as losses to Alabama, NC State, Bradley and DePaul in the non-conference portion of their schedule. Penn State dropped their first two conference games in December and found themselves at 0-10 by the end of January when it came to conference play, but the Nittany Lions would rebound and rattle off wins in 7 of their final 10 games to finish at 7-13. Lamar Stevens led Penn State in scoring and rebounding with 19.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game while Rasir Bolton had 11.9 points per game and Josh Reaves came 3rd in team scoring with 10.5 points and 2.9 assists per game this season. As a team, Penn State is averaging 69.6 points per game on 41.7% shooting from the field, 32.2% from behind the 3-point line and 69.4% from the foul line this season.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers come into the tournament as the #7 seed, finishing the year at 19-12 overall, including a 9-11 mark in Big Ten conference play. Minnesota had some solid performances in the non-conference part of their schedule, with wins over Utah, Texas A&M, Washington and Oklahoma State as well as a loss to Boston College. Minnesota split their first two conference games in December and alternated wins and losses in each of their first 7 conference games in January before falling apart down the stretch with losses in 7 of their last 10 games down the stretch to finish below .500. Amir Coffey led the Golden Gophers in scoring and assists with 16 points and 3.2 assists per game while Jordan Murphy averaged a double-double per game, coming 2nd in team scoring with 14.5 points per game as well as averaging a team-high 11.7 rebounds per game this season. Daniel Oturu had 10.8 points per game while Gabe Kalscheur added 10.1 points per game this season. As a team, Minnesota is averaging 71.2 points per game on 43.6% shooting from the field, 32.4% from behind the arc and 67.7% from the foul line this season.
Penn State is 8-1-2 ATS in their last 11 games overall and 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 games against a team with a winning record while the over is 5-1 in their last 6 games against a team with a winning percentage above .600. Minnesota is 6-21 ATS in their last 27 games against a team with a losing record and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games while the under is 8-2 in their last 10 games overall. Penn State is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings between these two teams.
Getting points with Minnesota is tempting considering that Minnesota can put up points in bunches, and the Golden Gophers need a solid performance in this tournament to be able to make a case to the selection committee for securing an at-large bid in the big dance. However, Penn State didn’t have a great record, but the Nittany Lions have been on a tear ATS as of late, and finished the season strong while Minnesota faltered a little bit. I wouldn’t be surprised if Minnesota came out firing here but given the recent play of both teams, I think Penn State and the low line is the way to go here.