Iowa Basketball: Preview and prediction against Indiana

The Iowa basketball team is back in action on Thursday night against Indiana. Here’s a preview and prediction for the game.

The No. 4 Iowa Hawkeyes (12-2) will host the Indiana Hoosiers (8-6) on Thursday evening at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:00 pm CT on FS1.

The Hawkeyes are a 10-point favorite as of Thursday evening, according to Odds Shark. The over/under is set at 151.5. Iowa has an 85.6 percent chance of winning, according to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index.

Iowa basketball is fresh off a 97-73 dismantling of Northwestern, which helped propel the Hawkeyes into a No. 4 ranking in the AP Top 25 this week. Now sitting with a record of 6-1 in conference, Iowa is just a half-game back of Michigan (7-1) for first place in the Big Ten.

On the other side, Indiana lost its last outing against Purdue, 81-69. The Hoosiers are now 3-4 in conference play, good for eighth place in the Big Ten.

Don’t expect the Hawkeyes to put up their usual high total in this one. Even though Iowa is elite offensively, Indiana allows just 68 points per game. Conversely, the Hawks average 92 points per game.

Iowa’s defense has gotten much better in recent weeks. True freshman Keegan Murray and sophomore Jack Nunge have both been key contributors off the bench on the defensive end of the floor. Murray leads the team in steals. As a team, Iowa allows 73 points per game on 41 percent shooting. The Hoosiers score just 73 points per game.

Keep an eye on sophomore forward Trayce Jackson-Davis for Indiana. Jackson-Davis has been the Hoosiers’ best player this season, leading the team in both points (20.4) and rebounds (8.9) while shooting nearly 54 percent. He’s eclipsed the 20-point mark in 9-of-14 appearances this season.

Iowa vs. Indiana prediction

Iowa wins 84-70. All the metrics stack up in favor of the Hawkeyes. They own the Big Ten’s longest current winning streak at five games. They’ve outscored their last three opponents by an average margin of 20 points. Overall, the Hawkeyes are 9-0 at home this season. The Hoosiers are 1-3 on the road. It’s hard to see Indiana pulling off the upset against a red hot Iowa team, especially as a double-digit underdog.