Iowa vs. Nebraska Basketball Prediction, Odds & Picks

After one of the biggest upsets in recent college basketball history, Iowa will look to bounce back and end 2022 on a positive note as they visit Nebraska tonight.

The matchup from Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska will tip off at 7:00 pm, and you can catch the action on Big Ten Network.

Eight days ago, Iowa was favored by over 30 points for its home game against Eastern Illinois out of the Ohio Valley Conference, expected to beat the 3-9 Panthers handily even with leading scorer Kris Murray missing for a fourth straight game and Connor McCaffery out for EIU’s visit to Iowa City.

It looked like that would be the case, as the Hawkeyes were up by eight at halftime. But EIU outscored them 55-38 in the second half to win 92-83 and score a stunning win.

Tonight, Murray and McCaffery will be back in action, but will the Hawkeyes be able to get back into the win column? Keep reading for our Iowa vs. Nebraska prediction, along with our picks for this Big Ten matchup.

Iowa vs Nebraska Odds

Game odds are via FanDuel as of Thursday, December 29, 2022, at 3:20 pm ET. This article may also include odds from our other recommended legal sports betting sites.

Spread

  • Iowa -3.5 (-118)
  • Nebraska +3.5 (-104)

Over/Under

  • Over 149.5 (-112)
  • Under 149.5 (-108)

Moneyline

Is There Reason to be Concerned About Iowa?

The natural thing to do when a team suffers a loss like the Hawkeyes did against Eastern Illinois is to wonder if it is a symptom of something larger and if a freefall is coming.

But there really shouldn’t be any such worries about Iowa. As bad as the loss to Eastern Illinois was, things had to align almost perfectly for the Panthers to pull off the win.

And that they did. In the second half, EIU made 21 of 29 shots–17 of 21 two-point shots and 4 of 8 three-pointers–while Iowa made only 11 of 36 shots, including just 2 of 17 from three.

For the game, the Hawkeyes, who entered the game making 34.3 of their threes, were only 7 of 33 (21.2%). They also were below their two-point percentage, shooting 53.8% on two-point shots after going into the game shooting 55.7% on two-pointers.

Eastern Illinois, who went into the game averaging 66.9 PPG and shooting 27.6% from three, 48.4% on two-point shots, and 42.7% overall, scored 92 points and shot 40% (6 of 15) from three, 66.7% (30 of 45) on two-point shots, and 60% overall.

Considering that they didn’t allow those shooting percentages in even their losses to TCU, Duke, and Wisconsin, we might not see that perfect hurricane of horrors repeat for Iowa for a while.

One thing, however, that points to a larger issue for the Hawkeyes is their own three-point shooting.

Three-Point Shooting Splits for Iowa

  • Wins: 72 of 188 (38.3%)
  • Losses: 20 of 93 (21.5%)

Nebraska was able to upset Creighton (10 of 40 from three) and take Purdue (7 of 29) to overtime thanks to not letting those two teams shoot well from three.

But in their other three games against top-50 (as per KenPom) teams, Oklahoma, Memphis, and Indiana shot a combined 29 of 67 (43.3%) from three in their wins over the Huskers.

After going 12 of 23 from three against Iowa State in their first game without Murray, the Hawkeyes were just 22 of 82 (26.8%) against Wisconsin, Southeast Missouri State, and Eastern Illinois.

With Murray (17 of 45, 37.8%) and Connor McCaffery (13 of 33, 39.4%), their top two three-point shooters by percentage, back in action tonight, we should not see another pitiful perimeter performance from Iowa tonight.

Iowa vs. Nebraska Prediction and Picks

Iowa vs. Nebraska Prediction: Iowa to win

Iowa vs. Nebraska Picks: Iowa to cover (Best Value: Iowa -3.5 @ FanDuel) & Iowa team total over (Best Value: over 76.5 @ FanDuel & BetRivers)

The Huskers have already shown that they can hang with some of the best teams in the country, but as nice as the win over Creighton (with Ryan Kalkbrenner playing) and their near-upset of the #1 Boilermakers are, they lost to St. John’s by 20, Oklahoma by 13, Memphis by 12, Indiana by 16, and Kansas State by 15.

Which results are more telling about where Fred Hoiberg’s Huskers are? The latter results do, in my view. Of all of those teams, the only one that may be better than Iowa is Indiana, and that is tenuous.

Winning on the road in the Big Ten isn’t easy, but don’t expect to see another dud from the Hawkeyes tonight.

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