DePaul vs. Minnesota Odds
DePaul and Minnesota, two bottom-of-the-barrel Power Five teams, go head-to-head in the Gavitt Games. Minnesota has a plethora of injuries at the moment. Jamison Battle is likely out yet again for the Golden Gophers, while Nick Ongenda is possibly out for the Blue Demons. Minnesota is more impacted by the Battle injury than DePaul. Even still, Minnesota has hauled in an average of 39 boards per game in each of their two outings. DePaul is averaging 35.5, so there is a small edge to the Gophers here at home.
Minnesota had a scare in its first game, beating Western Michigan by one point. DePaul had a couple duels between Loyola Maryland and Western Illinois, but they ended up pulling away in both.
Both of these teams have a tendency to turn the ball over. DePaul ranks 180th in the NCAA in turnover percentage through two games, while Minnesota comes into this game at 276th.
Expect this game to be a little hectic while these two teams find themselves. Minnesota playing at home with the rebounding advantage should give them enough of a leg up on the competition, paired with their ability to get to the free throw line and to slow the pace of the game.
Tony Stubblefield has shown he can produce a solid offensive team. Losing David Jones and Javon Freeman-Liberty in the offseason didn’t help, but in a sense, this team supplemented offensive production by adding Umoja Gibson from Oklahoma and Eral Penn from Long Island University has been a nice piece in the frontcourt. Da’Sean Nelson, Javan Johnson, Yor Anei and Jalen Terry round out the majority of the rotation.
The Blue Demons have a two-point percentage over 60% thus far and are shooting 37% from outside.
Minnesota has done a good job defending the arc. It is only permitting opponents to hit 24% of threes, so this could prove a bit difficult for the Blue Demons. Johnson is leading scoring for DePaul and has ability to pull up from deep.
Minnesota slowing the pace of play down to its standard might cut into those transition looks for the Demons. Expect much fewer opportunities if Minnesota can mitigate turnovers.
In addition, 32.3% of DePaul’s points have come from downtown. Since Minnesota has the likes of Ta’lon Cooper, Will Ramberg and Taurus Samuels, they should lockdown the arc.
Much of Minnesota’s production in the early going came from the transfer portal. Dawson Garcia transferred from Marquette. Cooper came from Morehead State and Samuels played at Dartmouth last season. Typically, there is a little volatility in figuring out who will lead the offense, but Samuels and Cooper are upperclassmen and have the experience to properly guard DePaul’s deep threats.
This will be an issue with the Blue Demons, who have taken a step back in backcourt defense. They are allowing opponents to shoot 32% from outside, which ranks 173rd in the NCAA. With Minnesota manufacturing nearly 30% of its offense from deep, this could be a concern, especially if Minnesota can get the DePaul guards into foul trouble.
That leads to the final piece of the handicap. Minnesota may be shooting a paltry 52.4% from the stripe, but they rank 76th in the NCAA in free throw attempts. The Demons rank 207th in allowed free throw attempts. Simply put, they foul plenty, and Minnesota will look to drive the ball often.
Dawson Garcia is a mismatch for DePaul. At 6-foot-11, the only defender close to his size is Anei, and even though Anei is averaging three blocks per game, Garcia will be on the floor longer. If Garcia can get Anei, who is averaging 3.5 fouls per game, into foul trouble, DePaul has no chance of stopping Garcia. Look for a big game from the sophomore.
DePaul vs. Minnesota Betting Pick
Minnesota has a height advantage in this game, even if it is a small one. It can defend the arc and will limit DePaul’s damage from deep. The Gophers will consistently attack the rim and force DePaul into foul trouble, giving them another edge as the game wears on. Take Minnesota at -0.5 (-110), and play at -3 (-110).
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