Michigan vs. Minnesota odds, line: College basketball picks, best predictions from model on 16-8 run

The Minnesota Golden Gophers are firmly on the 2019 NCAA Tournament bubble, but have a prime opportunity for a resume-builder on Thursday when they host the seventh-ranked Michigan Wolverines at 7 p.m. ET. Minnesota is only 17-9 overall and 7-8 in the Big Ten, but with a RPI of 42, its March Madness hopes are alive. Meanwhile, Michigan is 12-3 in the Big Ten (22-3 overall), and within a half-game of the conference lead. The latest Michigan vs. Minnesota odds have the Wolverines favored by five, up a half-point from the opener, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 133. Before locking in any Michigan vs. Minnesota picks of your own or making any Thursday college basketball predictions, you'll want to read what the SportsLine Projection Model has to say.

The model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has raked in the winnings for those following its picks. Over the past two years, the SportsLine Projection Model has returned over $5,200 to $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks. It also entered Week 16 of the 2018-19 college basketball season on a blistering 16-8 run on top-rated college basketball side picks either against the spread or on the money line. Anyone who has followed it is way up.

Now it has locked in on Michigan vs. Minnesota. We can tell you it's leaning toward the over, but it has also generated a highly confident against the spread pick that hits in nearly 70 percent of simulations, indicating the line in this game is way off. You can only see that pick at SportsLine.

The model knows that Michigan has won 12 of the last 13 against Minnesota and is 8-2 in its last 10 at Williams Arena. Freshman Ignas Brazdeikis leads a balanced offense by averaging 14.5 points per game, while 6-6 senior Charles Matthews (13.2) has upped his game lately, averaging 17.6 the last three contests. 

Defense has been Michigan's hallmark. In fact, the Maize and Blue are allowing just 57.6 points per game, fourth-fewest in the country. Space-eating 7-1 junior Jon Teske averages 6.4 rebounds and a Big Ten-leading 2.2 blocks along with his nine points per game. Free throw shooting was one of few remaining concerns for Michigan, but even that's become a strength: The team is shooting 76.3 over the last eight games, a mark that would rank 20th in the nation.

But just because the Wolverines have been red-hot doesn't mean they'll cover the Michigan vs. Minnesota spread on Thursday.

The model also knows the Gophers were stuck in a four-game losing streak before rolling Indiana 84-63 on Saturday. They got back to what was working, as Jordan Murphy had 23 points and 11 rebounds en route to Big Ten Player of the Week honors, and gunner Gabe Kalscheur hit six three-pointers.

Minnesota played Michigan tough in Ann Arbor on Jan. 22, losing in buzzer-beating fashion despite getting just 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting from leading scorer Amir Coffey (15 points per game). Thursday's Minnesota vs. Michigan matchup is in the Twin Cities, where the Golden Gophers are 12-2 on the season.

The Golden Gophers are 7-4 against the spread as an underdog, and when they face defense-first teams -- squads like Michigan that allow under 67 points per game -- they're 7-3 against the number.

So who wins Michigan vs. Minnesota? And which side of the spread can you bank on in nearly 70 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Minnesota vs. Michigan spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up more than $5,200 on its college basketball picks the past two years, and find out.

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