- Rutgers is Getting Hot at the Right Time
- It’s Now or Never for Minnesota
- Minnesota at Rutgers Betting Prediction & Pick
Two schools that began the season scorching hot, now face a must-win game if they want to stay afloat in the crowded Big Ten conference. Rutgers and Minnesota are toe-to-toe in the conference standings, a win would be great, but dropping the game could have a dramatic effect down the line.
Minnesota is coming in on somewhat of a skid. After their hot start, they’ve picked up glaring road issues. They’re 0-5 as the visiting team, but they have an inside-outside duo talented enough to break that losing streak.
Rutgers is having their best season in decades, and they have a few elements of a Cinderella team to them. They would have made the tournament last year for the first time in over two decades, but it was postponed. They are no longer the laughing stock of the Big Ten, they’re real.
Rutgers is Getting Hot at the Right Time
After opening the season 6-0, Rutgers cooled off a bit. They’d dropped six of their next seven, before regaining steam and picking up three straight conference wins over Indiana, Northwestern, and Michigan State. The Scarlet Knights have improved defensively over this stretch, even holding MSU to 37 points.
They’re led by swingman Ron Harper Jr., who averages 17.3 ppg, but he’s struggled as of late. Look for him to get back on track against a Minnesota team that struggles on the road. Senior guard Jacob Young came up big by scoring 19 points in the road victory over Northwestern last Saturday.
Young, and fellow guards Geo Baker and Montez Mathis help solidify the backcourt. Center Myles Johnson will be huge in this game. He had an impressive double-double against MSU and Rutgers will need his best against Minnesota big Liam Robbins. The Scarlet Knights have the tools to win at home and extend their streak, but will they?
It’s Now or Never for Minnesota
Minnesota is at somewhat of a crossroads. Like Rutgers, the Golden Gophers started the season 6-0. After a loss to Illinois, they responded with wins over Iowa, Michigan State and Ohio State. After looking like they’d crashed the party in the crowded Big Ten conference, they cooled off a tad. Despite picking up a road win over Michigan, they’d dropped four of their last five games and out of the rankings.
To get back on track, they will need a big game from Marcus Carr. The junior guard averages 20 points, but he’s coming off of a 6-point performance against Purdue. He’s struggled a bit on the road this season, but if Minnesota wants to win against a hot Rutgers team, they’ll need his best.
The Golden Gophers are led by two transfer bigs up front. Drake transfer Liam Robbins has come in and already established himself as one of the best bigs in the conference, leading the Big Ten in blocks with 2.8 per game. He scored 27 points and grabbed 14 boards in the win over Ohio State.
Western Michigan transfer Brandon Johnson does a good job of keeping him clean and stretching the floor. He hit eight three’s in the Christmas Day win over Iowa. Guards Gabe Kalscheur and Both Gach round out a solid starting five.
With an impressive resume of conference wins, the Golden Gophers could be looking to add another.
Minnesota at Rutgers Betting Prediction & Pick
After such a great start, Minnesota finds themselves in a must-win game. They’ve gotten most of the tough conference battles out of the way, but they need to hand the Scarlet Knights their seventh loss and avoid taking their own if they want to play in March.
At 0-5 on the road, facing a hot team like Rutgers, it might not happen. Rutgers is looking to make their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1991, look for them to add to that resume. Bet on Rutgers to defeat Minnesota.