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Jack’s Free Pick Thursday: Iowa +4
The Iowa Hawkeyes could be flying under the radar this season. That’s because they return all five starters from last year, including Tyler Cook (15.3 PPG, 6.8 RPG), who decided to come back for his junior season after flirting with the pros. Jordan Bohannon (13.5 PPG, 5.4 APG) and Luke Garza (12.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG) are also back. This is the best team Fran McCaffery has ever had at Iowa.
Oregon only returns two starters from last year in Payton Pritchard and Paul White. This is a team that went to the NIT last year and somehow open this season ranked as the No. 13 team in the country. I think there’s too much love for the Ducks early, and the wrong team is favored in this matchup.
This game will be played on a neutral court in New York City at Madison Square Garden in the 2K Classic. That’s important because the Ducks are 0-5-1 ATS in their last six neutral site games. The Hawkeyes are 5-0 ATS in their last five neutral site games. Bet Iowa Thursday.
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The set-up: This is part of the 2K Classic in New York. The No. 13 Oregon Ducks clobbered Eastern Washington 81-47 in their most recent action, while the Iowa Hawkeyes enter off a strong 93-82 home victory over Green Bay. The Ducks average 82.5 points and allow 52 in the early going, but clearly those numbers are “skewed” due to the competition. Iowa is so far averaging 85 PPG and it’s allowing 72.5.
The pick: I think Iowa’s scoring depth keeps the Hawkeyes in this one. Oregon hasn’t been tested yet and note that it’s a poor 7-10 ATS in its last 17 neutral site affairs (Iowa is a money-building 7-4 ATS in its last 11 neutral site games.) Consider the points in this one.
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