At 15-6 on the season, the Golden Gophers are not receiving much attention from the talking heads. However, that is fine with Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino because he realizes how talented his roster is.
Minnesota is averaging 75.4 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 69.0 points per game to a mediocre offensive squad. Moreover, the Gophers are 12-1 at home this season where they are averaging 76.4 points per game on 46.1% shooting from the field. Overall, Minnesota is 6.4 points per game better than average offensively, which is not good enough to exploit a very good Northwestern defense. Indeed, the Wildcats are allowing just 63.6 points per game to teams that would combine to average 73.9 points per game, thereby giving coach Chris Collins’ squad a decent 3.9 points per game advantage defensively over Minnesota’s offense.
Minnesota also possesses a very good defense that is allowing 68.4 points per game to teams that would combine to average 74.0 points per game, thereby making the Gophers 5.6 points per game better than average defensively. The Gophers save their best defense for the home faithful where they are limiting foes to a mere 63.1 points per game on 40.8% shooting from the floor.
Meanwhile, Northwestern arrives in town with an atrocious offense that is averaging 61.6 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 68.7 points per game. Even more alarming is the fact that the Wildcats are shooting 39.8% from the field and 29.9% from beyond the arc. With Northwestern’s offense being 7.1 points per game worse than average, the Gophers possess a significant 12.7 points per game advantage defensively in this contest.
While Northwestern has been playing a lot better recently, that is not exactly good news for the Wildcats as they are 12-23 ATS following one or more consecutive wins and 0-6 ATS after winning three of their last four games. In contrast, Minnesota is coming off a loss, which is important in that the Gophers are 40-23 ATS at home after losing two of their last three games. With Minnesota standing at 14-4 ATS after being installed as a road underdog and 19-9 ATS following a road game, take the Gophers to dominate Northwestern this afternoon.