Ron Harper Jr. reacts after drilling a shot

Rutgers forward Ron Harper Jr. reacts after making a 3-point shot against Purdue during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Piscataway, N.J. Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

  • Penn State is a 3.5-point favorite over Rutgers on Tuesday (Jan. 11th) at 6:30 pm ET in Big Ten play
  • The Scarlett Knights have covered in three of their past four games, while the over has hit in four of their past five contests
  • Read below for odds, analysis and a betting prediction

Tuesday night in the Big Ten features three games, including Rutgers (9-5, 3-1 Big Ten) visiting Penn State (7-6, 3-2 Big Ten). The Scarlet Knights enter play winners of four in a row, most recently blowing out Nebraska at home.

The Nittany Lions on the other hand, were losers last time out versus #7 Purdue, an outcome that snapped a two-game winning streak.

Rutgers vs Penn State Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Rutgers Scarlet Knights +145 +3.5 (-110) O 131.5 (-110)
Penn State Nittany Lions -175 -3.5 (-110) U 131.5 (-110)

Odds as of Jan. 10th at BetMGM.

Penn State opened up as a 3.5-point home favorite, in a game that features a total of 131.5. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 pm ET at the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, PA, with the Big 10 Network providing the broadcast coverage.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights Betting Analysis

Rutgers’ victory over the Cornhuskers followed up a win versus Michigan, which snapped an 87-year drought against the Wolverines. Ron Harper Jr. scored 20 points versus Michigan, and was even more impressive against Nebraska.

The senior poured in 29 points in a 93-65 victory, while four other teammates also reached double-figures. Harper is averaging a team-best 16.3 points per contest this season, and has scored at least 20 points in three straight conference games.

The Scarlet Knights shot a blistering 58.3% from the field versus the Cornhuskers, and 55.6% from downtown, en route to their highest scoring Big Ten regular season game in school history.

Despite the achievement, this offense shouldn’t be confused with an elite unit. They rank 180th in points per game this season, and 209th in effective shooting percentage. Two areas where they do excel is on the glass and in the assist department. They rank 61st in total rebounding, and 19th in assists per game, and finished plus-16 and plus-11 in those categories against Nebraska.

Defensively, they’re holding their opponents to 65.4 points per game, while yielding a 47.6% effective field goal percentage.

Penn State Nittany Lions Betting Analysis

Penn State gave Purdue all they could handle last time out, but fell just short 74-67. It was their third consecutive tightly contested Big Ten game, as they beat Indiana and Northwestern in their two prior outings by a combined 7 points.

Jalen Pickett led the offense versus the Boilermakers with 21 points, and 10 assists. He’s the only player in the conference to average at least 18 points and 4.5 assists in Big Ten action so far.

The team shot a respectable 47.3% from the field, and 36.4% from three, but coughed up 11 turnovers which led to 16 Purdue points.

Defensively, they did an excellent job versus the nation’s fourth best offense, holding them to 11 points below their season average. They limited the Boilermakers to 48.3% from the field, but surrendered 10 offensive boards, and were outscored 36-28 in the paint.

For the season, the Nittany Lions have fared much better defensively than on offense. They’re yielding just 66.7 points per contest, and a 49.2% effective field goal percentage. At the other end of the court, they rank 239th in points per game, 137th in assists, and 118th in three-point efficiency.

Rutgers vs Penn State Pick

Both of these teams have covered in three straight, but the Scarlet Knights are playing the better ball at the moment. Don’t forget this is the same team that upset Purdue when it was undefeated and ranked #1.

Rutgers has excelled versus the number in conference play, posting a 3-1 ATS mark, while four of their past five contests have gone over the total. The over is 10-4 in their 14 games, and has also hit in all three of their road tilts.

Not to be outdone, the Nittany Lions have seen five of their past six games fly over the total, while the over is 4-1 in their five conference outings.

Picks: Rutgers +3.5 (-110), Over 131.5 (-110)

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Chris Amberley

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