Iowa vs Northwestern Basketball Prediction & Picks: Hawkeyes, Wildcats look to improve March seeding

Eddie Griffin

Written by: Eddie Griffin

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Iowa vs Northwestern Basketball Prediction & Picks: Hawkeyes, Wildcats look to improve March seeding cover


After upset wins over Purdue and Indiana, Northwestern is on the verge of being a lock to make the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in the program’s history. With a win in today’s matchup against Iowa (6:30 pm ET, BTN), the Wildcats will almost certainly be playing for seeding position from here on out.

Northwestern (19-7, 10-5 Big Ten) is currently projected as a #6 seed in the latest March Madness bracketology updates at both ESPN and CBS, and even just one more regular season win should be enough, no matter what happens elsewhere around the country.

But they are also only 1.5 games behind Purdue in the Big Ten standings and still very much in the Big Ten title hunt, and a win over the Hawkeyes (17-9, 9-6 Big Ten) will keep them hot on the Boilermakers’ heels.

Read on for our Iowa vs Northwestern basketball prediction, as well as our picks for this evening’s matchup in Evanston.

Iowa vs Northwestern Odds

Odds are via BetOnline as of Sunday, February 19, 2023, at 1:10 pm ET. This article may also include odds from our other recommended legal sports betting sites.


  • Iowa -1.5 (-110)
  • Northwestern +1.5 (-110)


  • Over 145.5 (-110)
  • Under 145.5 (-110)


  • Iowa -126
  • Northwestern +105

Will Offense, Not Defense, Lead Northwestern Over Iowa?

Back-to-back double-digit losses at Iowa and at home to Michigan earlier this month could have spelled the start of a freefall for the Wildcats given the schedule they had ahead. Instead, they have gone the opposite direction.

Now, thanks to a four-game win streak that has seen them pick up road wins over Wisconsin and Ohio State and home wins over Purdue and Indiana, Northwestern is in position to better the #8 seed they received in their historic NCAA Tournament appearance in 2017.

Defense has been the driving force behind their win streak, as they have allowed 52, 63, 58, and 62 points in their wins.

In the wins over Wisconsin and Purdue, the Wildcats held the Badgers (38%) and Buckeyes (36.2%) under 40% shooting overall, while Ohio State and Indiana were a combined 4 of 25 (16%) from three, which made a major difference in games that were decided by six and two points.

Where to Bet on Iowa vs Northwestern

Today, however, offense could very well be the key, as Iowa leads the Big Ten in scoring (81.0 PPG). And the Hawkeyes have already flexed their muscles in that area against Northwestern, who allowed a season-high 86 points in a 16-point loss in Iowa City on January 31.

In that game, Iowa shot 55.8% (29 of 52) from the field overall, including 10 of 21 (47.6%), and they also made 18 of 22 (81.8%) from the foul line.

The Wildcats were outclassed in that matchup, but they have mostly done well otherwise when putting a decent number of points on the board. In fact, they are 12-2 when scoring 65 or more points, with the only other loss an 85-78 loss at Michigan on January 15.

Given that Iowa has scored 75+ points in 11 of 15 Big Ten games and 65+ points in all but three games overall this season–a 74-62 loss to Duke at Madison Square Garden, a 66-50 loss at Nebraska, and a 63-61 loss at Michigan State–Northwestern may need to cross the 70-point threshold to win today.

Iowa vs Northwestern Prediction and Picks

Hawkeyes vs Wildcats Prediction: Northwestern to win

Hawkeyes vs Wildcats Picks: Northwestern ML (Best Value: Bovada Sportsbook) & Northwestern team total over (Bovada Sportsbook & BetUS)

Iowa’s on a nice little run themselves, with a loss at Purdue the only blemish in their last six games.

But four of their five wins in that stretch have come at home, where they are 7-1 in Big Ten play. A failure to replicate that success on the road, where they have lost five of seven, is why the Hawkeyes, aren’t closer to Purdue in the Big Ten standings.

I don’t think that their trip to Evanston will go any better than most of their road games, and I love the ML value with Northwestern as a slight underdog at home.

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Today’s schedule certainly isn’t as action-packed as yesterday’s, but there are still a number of good options on the board, so don’t hesitate to make the most of that deal.

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Eddie Griffin
Eddie Griffin

Eddie Griffin has been writing about and betting on sports for over a decade and has been with Betting News since 2021. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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