Penn State (12-5, 2-2) at Indiana (9-7, 2-2)
When: Tuesday, January 9th 2018
Where: Assembly Hall, Bloomington, IN
Time: 6:30 ET | TV: Big Ten Network
Opening Odds: Pickem/143
Two Big Ten teams with a lot of work left to do if they are to be invited to the Big Dance in March, will meet in a key game on Tuesday night as the Indiana Hoosiers host the Penn State Nittany Lions in Bloomington, Indiana. Both teams sit at 2-2 in conference play and really don’t have a terrific resume, so a loss here would hurt. Indiana is coming off a huge road win on Saturday behind a career-high 28 points by Robert Johnson in a 75-71 triumph at Minnesota to even their Big Ten record early in the conference schedule. The Hoosiers went into that contest after learning that sophomore De’Ron Davis would be out indefinitely with a leg injury and sixth man Collin Hartman was unable to go due to a sore right shoulder. The Nittany Lions received a career-best performance from Lamar Stevens, who made 14-of-19 shots en route to 30 points in a 78-63 win over Northwestern on Friday. The sophomore forward is averaging 17.8 points on 53.7% shooting in the four Big Ten games for Penn State, who are third in the conference in 3-point percentage (37.8), while Indiana is 13th (31.2). The Hoosiers won both meetings last season including a triple-overtime thriller in Bloomington last February.
Stevens’ career effort helped the Nittany Lions overcome a poor shooting game for leading scorer Tony Carr (18.3 points per game), who was 3-of-13 from the floor, but managed 12 points. Mike Watkins is becoming a beast in the paint with two consecutive 17-rebound performances while producing 35 points on 13-of-17 shooting. Watkins ranks second among Big Ten players in field-goal percentage (68.3) and blocks (3.4), and Penn State has the league’s top two players in steals with Josh Reaves (2.4) and Jamari Wheeler (2.1) leading the way.
Forward Juwan Morgan also had a big game against Minnesota by scoring 20 points while tying career highs with 12 rebounds and four blocked shots. He and Johnson rank as the team’s only two double-digit scorers but freshman Justin Smith got into the fun against the Golden Gophers with 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Johnson has recorded season highs in assists in each of the last two games, first handing out five in a loss to Wisconsin and then dishing seven against Minnesota. Johnson’s previous best scoring effort was a 27-point performance in the triple-overtime game last season.
Indiana is still trying to get back to prominence, but are a year or two away. This Penn State team is capable of knocking off the best of them and is not afraid to play on the road. It’s odd to see the Nittany Lions favored at Indiana, but its the right line.
Pick: Penn State -1.5
- Nittany Lions are 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Nittany Lions are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 road games.
- Nittany Lions are 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 vs. Big Ten.
- Nittany Lions are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Tuesday games.
- Nittany Lions are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up win.
- Nittany Lions are 1-9-1 ATS in their last 11 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Nittany Lions are 1-10-1 ATS in their last 12 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Hoosiers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games.
- Hoosiers are 18-40-1 ATS in their last 59 games following a ATS win.
- Hoosiers are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Hoosiers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
- Hoosiers are 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 Tuesday games.
- Over is 9-2 in Nittany Lions last 11 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Over is 8-2 in Nittany Lions last 10 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Under is 10-4 in Nittany Lions last 14 overall.
- Over is 10-4 in Nittany Lions last 14 road games.
- Over is 12-5 in Nittany Lions last 17 Tuesday games.
- Under is 7-3 in Nittany Lions last 10 games following a straight up win.
- Under is 4-0 in Hoosiers last 4 overall.
- Under is 5-0 in Hoosiers last 5 vs. Big Ten.
- Over is 4-0 in Hoosiers last 4 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Under is 4-1 in Hoosiers last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Nittany Lions are 3-1-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
- Under is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings in Indiana.
- Under is 13-5 in the last 18 meetings.
- Road team is 5-2-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings.
- Underdog is 3-1-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.