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Penn State vs. Rutgers - 1/26/19 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Rutgers at Penn State
Date & Time Saturday January 26, 2019, 4:30 PM (EST)
Location
Bryce Jordan Center
University Park, PA
The Line
Penn State Nittany Lions -6.5 -- Over/Under: 129.5
TV Channel
BTN
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Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Penn State Nittany Lions meet in Big Ten conference college basketball action from the Bryce Jordan Center on Saturday afternoon.

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights will look to build on a 76-69 win over Nebraska in their last outing. Montez Mathis led the Scarlet Knights with 20 points on 7 of 16 shooting along with 9 rebounds while Geo Baker added 16 points on 6 of 14 shooting with 3 threes and 3 steals. Myles Johnson added 13 points and team-highs of 11 rebounds and 4 assists to round out the trio of double-digit scorers for Rutgers in the win while Ron Harper Jr. added 5 points and 7 rebounds in 13 foul-plagued minutes. Baker leads Rutgers with an average of 13.1 points and 4.1 assists per game while Johnson leads Rutgers in rebounding with 5.2 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Rutgers is averaging 67.4 points per game on 40.8% shooting from the field, 30.8% from behind the arc and 63.4% from the foul line this season.

The Penn State Nittany Lions will be out to snap a 6-game losing skid after a narrow 65-64 loss to Minnesota in their last outing. Lamar Stevens led Penn State with 27 points on 9 of 17 shooting with 3 threes and a pair of blocks while Mike Watkins added 10 points and a team-high 9 rebounds as the only other Nittany Lion to score in double figures as well in the loss. Josh Reaves chipped in 7 points with 5 rebounds and team-highs of 4 assists and 3 steals as well in the losing effort. Stevens leads Penn State with an average of 18.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game while Reaves leads the Nittany Lions in assists with 3.7 assists per game this season. As a team, Penn State is averaging 67.8 points per game on 41.3% shooting from the field, 31.7% from behind the arc and 67.1% from the foul line this season.

Rutgers is 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games overall and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a win while the over is 8-2 in their last 10 conference games. Penn State is 3-9-1 ATS in their last 13 games overall and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 home games while the under is 6-2 in their last 8 conference games. Rutgers is 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings between these two teams.

I said coming into this game that I’d probably want to be on the side of the points considering that neither of these teams I feel overly confident backing right now. However, even though laying this many points with a team that’s lost 6 in a row isn’t ideal and Rutgers picked up a win against Nebraska last time out, I still feel like Penn State is the better option here. The Nittany Lions have owned Rutgers over the years, winning 4 of the last 5 meetings, each by double digits, by an average of 17.5 points per game over that span. Rutgers has lost all 3 of their conference road games, including the last two by a combined 43 points, so while I’ll personally be leaving this game alone, I think the only choice here is to lay the points with Penn State here.

Pick:
Penn State -6.5

Chris has been a sports fan from when he was old enough to pick up a basketball and was a standout offensive lineman throughout high school and college. Chris uses that same instinct, determination and drive to analyze trends and statistics to find and produce winners on a consistent basis. Chris has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2016 and covers a wide array of sports from college and pro football, college basketball, hockey and baseball.

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