Penn State vs Rutgers Basketball Prediction & Picks: Will Spencer & the Scarlet Knights rebound at home?
Tonight, Rutgers will look to maintain its place in the top three in the Big Ten standings, as the Scarlet Knights welcome Penn State to Piscataway.
The matchup between the Scarlet Knights (13-6, 5-3 Big Ten) and Nittany Lions (13-6, 4-4 Big Ten) is set for a 6:30 pm ET tip at Jersey Mike’s Arena, and you can catch all of the action on Big Ten Network.
The Scarlet Knights fell out of the AP poll thanks to a 13-point loss at Michigan State on Thursday, but they are still tied for second in the Big Ten, a half-game ahead of Northwestern.
While they are comfortably in the NCAA Tournament field and in position for the highest March Madness seed in program history, the same can’t be said for Penn State, who went 1-1 last week with a loss at Wisconsin and a home win over Nebraska.
A win tonight would be a big help for the Nittany Lions, but will they get it? Read on for our Penn State vs Rutgers basketball prediction, as well as our picks and analysis for this matchup.
Penn State vs Rutgers Odds
Odds are via Caesars Sportsbook as of Tuesday, January 24, 2023, at 4:30 am ET. This article may also include odds from our other recommended legal sports betting sites.
- Penn State +6.5 (-110)
- Rutgers -6.5 (-110)
- Over 130 (-110)
- Under 130 (-110)
- Penn State +210
- Rutgers -260
Will Perimeter Shooting Plague Rutgers Against Penn State?
Rutgers’ 70-57 loss at Michigan State on Thursday falls squarely on one area, on both ends of the court.
Defensively, the Scarlet Knights had their worst game of the season in defending the three.
The Spartans made 12 of 22 (54.5%) from outside, and they shot 47.3% (26 of 55) from the field overall, the second-best shooting percentage an opponent has recorded against the Scarlet Knights this season.
On the offensive end, things were also awful, as Rutgers made just 2 of 17 (11.8%) from three and 34.4% (22 of 64) from the field overall.
It was a second straight poor shooting performance for the Scarlet Knights, who edged Ohio State in overtime nine days ago despite shooting 24% from three and 33.9% overall.
Improvement on both ends is a must against Penn State, who is one of the best teams from the perimeter in college basketball.
Perimeter Shooting Statistics and Rankings for Penn State
- 3PT%: 39.4% (1st in the Big Ten, 11th in Division I)
- Made Threes Per Game: 10.9 (1st in the Big Ten, 5th in Division I)
- Attempted Threes Per Game: 27.8 (1st in the Big Ten, 13th in Division I)
In Saturday’s 76-65 win over Nebraska, the Nittany Lions made only 36.7% of their outside shots, but they nailed 11 of them, with Andrew Funk (42.4%) making 5 of 10 in a 23-point performance and Seth Lundy (42.2%) making 3 of 7 in a 16-point outing.
Rutgers is second in the Big Ten and in the top 30 in the country defending the three (29.6%), but a little success on the offensive end would only help their cause.
But the Scarlet Knights have one of the best three-point shooters in the country in Cam Spencer (43.9%), who will be aiming to bounce back from an ugly game in East Lansing.
Spencer, the team’s leading scorer (13.6 PPG), went into the Michigan State game with back-to-back 20-point games. But he made only 1 of 8 from three and 3 of 14 overall from the field and was held to eight points against the Spartans.
Defensively, Penn State is 10th in the Big Ten in three-point percentage (33.4%) and 11th in made threes allowed per game (7.5), so this is a good opportunity for Spencer to get back on track from downtown.
Penn State vs Rutgers Prediction and Picks
Penn State vs Rutgers Prediction: Rutgers to win
Penn State vs Rutgers Picks: Penn State/Rutgers over (Best Value: over 129.5 @ BetMGM)
I don’t love either side of the spread here, but with both teams potentially having success from the perimeter, I do really like the over. Even if neither team manages to reach the 70-point mark, it can still go over.