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Minnesota vs. Penn State
Big 10 Basketball Pick
Betting Line: TBA
Minnesota heads to State College to take on Penn State Thursday night in Big 10 college hoops action in a game that is crucial for the Gophers. This is being written prior to the betting lines being posted. We will give our take on the game along with our score prediction and will then come back after the lines are posted to let you know if we see any value from a betting standpoint.
Minnesota comes in at 17-8 but just 6-7 in Big 10 play. Many college hoops observers feel the Gophers have already done enough to qualify for the big dance as long as they navigate the rest of their schedule with just another loss or two. We, however, think they are squarely on the bubble and can't afford to stumble. In fact, the feeling here is that Penn State has the better quality wins than Minnesota.
Minnesota has a big win at North Carolina earlier in the year as well as a win at home against Purdue. But it stops there. They came up short against all other top quality opponents they faced. They lost twice to Ohio State. They lost to Wisconsin, Michigan State and Illinois and the Gophers just ended a 4 game losing streak.
Penn State on the other hand seems to play to the level of their opponent, such as losing at home to Maine. But they have beaten Michigan State, Illinois and Wisconsin and came oh so close to both Ohio State and Purdue on the road. They lost to Ohio State by 3 and Purdue by just 1.
Put a little check mark next to Penn State. They look to be NIT bound. Wherever they play post season, they figure to present some fantastic value. Like Minnesota, Penn State has played one of the strongest schedules in the nation. You're likely to find a spot in the post season where whoever Penn State is playing has a better record and looks much better on paper, keeping the line down. But when you dig in and look at the strength of schedule you'll see a much different story and a likely Penn State blow out the general public will miss.
As far as this game, we have Penn State winning this one by a point, so we'll look to take Penn State here as an underdog at home in a very winnable game for them.
Predicted Final - Penn State 64 Minnesota 63
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