Rutgers vs Michigan Prediction - Basketball Picks 3/9/23

Michigan Wolverines (17-14) vs Rutgers Scarlet Knights (18-13)

Game Info: Thursday, March 9, 2023 at 12:00 pm (United Center)

Betting Odds: Michigan Wolverines -2.5 -- Over/Under: 132.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Michigan Wolverines meet in Chicago to battle in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament at the United Center on the BTN.

Rutgers is 18-13 after losing to Northwestern at home. The Scarlet Knights let the Wildcats pull away after the break, and they were handed a 12-point loss, 65-53. Rutgers is scoring 68.5 points per game, while allowing 59.7 ppg and shooting 43% from the floor.

Rutgers dropped five of their last seven games, and they'll look to recover their early season form here in Chicago. Rutgers plays through the strength of their defense, and Clifford Omoruyi is a big part of that. The junior center double-doubled in the February meeting with Big Blue, and he leads Rutgers in scoring (13.5) and rebounding (9.8). Senior guard Cam Spencer scored a game-high 22 points in the recent win over Wisconsin, and he’s second on the team at 12.7 ppg. Veteran guards Caleb McConnell (9.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and Paul Mulcahy (8.3 ppg, 5.0 apg) start on the perimeter for Rutgers.

Michigan moved to 17-14 after losing to Indiana in Bloomington. The Wolverines forced overtime, but the Hoosiers would end up dishing them a two-point loss, 75-73. Michigan scores 76.1 points per game, while allowing 70.6 ppg, and shooting 45.3% from the field. 

Michigan suffered two losses at Assembly Hall to Indiana and Illinois to close the season, and they currently find themselves on the wrong side of the bubble. Hunter Dickinson has been on a tear down the stretch, scoring 23 points in the last three games, and double-doubling in seven of the last nine games.  The junior center leads Big Blue in scoring (18.2) and rebounding (9.0). First-year guard Jett Howard finished second on the team at 14.5 ppg, while fellow guard Kobe Bufkin is up to 13.9 ppg after growing into a bigger role last month. 

Rutgers is 17-13-1 against the spread this season, with a 12-19 over/under record. Michigan is 17-13-1 ATS this year, with a 18-13 o/u record.

Rutgers could pass for a poor-man’s Michigan team the way they’re run from the inside-out, and I think Big Blue shows up here. Hunter Dickinson has really turned things up down the stretch, and I like leaning on a big effort from their big man. Wolverines coach Juwan Howard has thrived at this tournament, and I like taking Michigan’s spread for this second round matchup.

Corey’s Pick Michigan -3.5

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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