Let’s take a look at the odds and lines on DraftKings Sportsbook and make some picks.
Penn State vs. Rutgers odds
Spread: Rutgers -6.5
Moneyline: Rutgers -275, Penn State +230
Penn State (13-6, 4-4 Big Ten) moved to .500 in conference play thanks to a 76-65 win over Nebraska on Saturday afternoon, helping the Nittany Lions tread water in what has proven to be a competitive Big Ten. While it may be premature, Saturday’s victory was a much-needed win for a Penn State program hoping to make its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2011. As they head on the road for a matchup with the Scarlet Knights, they will need a more efficient performance from star guard Jalen Pickett, who finished with a career-high seven turnovers on Saturday. Pickett leads the team in scoring (17.4 PPG), assists (7.2 per game), rebounds (7.9 per game), and steals (1.1 per game).
Rutgers (13-6, 5-3 Big Ten) will look to shake off the aftermath of their 70-57 loss to Michigan State on Friday, a game in which the Scarlet Knights had pulled within two points twice during the game. Alas, a comeback effort was for naught as they surrendered a 7-0 run midway through the second half, which proved to be the nail in the coffin. Despite the loss, Rutgers is on a solid pace to make the NCAA Tournament once again this season, sitting in second place in the Big Ten standings while leaning on defense as their strength. The Scarlet Knights allow just 57.6 PPG to their opponents, which is the fifth-fewest in the nation.
The Pick: Rutgers -6.5
The Scarlet Knights are 10-3 ATS at home this season while the Nittany Lions are 5-3 on the road. Given that Pickett is quite literally the engine that makes Penn State’s offense go, I’m curious as to how he’ll weather Rutger’s stingy defense. The star guard entered Saturday’s game with 16 turnovers in the team’s seven previous Big Ten games, but ended up with a career-high seven giveaways alone versus the Cornhuskers, as they opted to double him at any moment’s notice. If Rutgers’ stout defense can make Pickett uncomfortable, I’m taking the home team in this one.