With just a few hours to go until tipoff in the Big Ten clash between Indiana and Rutgers (-3.5), we wanted to share a few of our favorite player prop bets for the evening. While our instincts tell us that these occurrences could certainly come to fruition in the contest, we must remind everyone that we are in no way, shape, or form psychics here at Hoosier State of Mind. With that in mind, digging into a bit of technical and visual analysis indicates that these are among the likeliest props to hit via DraftKings Sportsbook.
INDIANA PLAYER PROPS TO CONSIDER
Malik Reneau OVER 14.5 Points (-115)
Reneau has been virtually unstoppable since the start of 2024, and we do no see him slowing down in this one in spite of a fairly competent Rutgers defense. The Hoosiers' leading scorer (16.5 PPG on the season) has put up 24 points-per-game on 63.8% shooting (37/58) in his last 4 games (including 23 on 10/16 shooting in Saturday's win over Ohio State). The 6'9", 233 pound bully will likely be defended by Rutger's best overall player and slightly shorter but similarly built Aundre Hyatt (6'6", 235 pounds). Regardless of who is guarding him, expect Malik to rise to the occasion yet again as he continues to grow up right before our eyes.
Trey Galloway OVER 2.5 Assists (-150)
While Galloway has had a highly streaky season in terms of scoring, he currently leads the team in nightly assists (3.7) and has gradually improved in the area of table-setting as the season has pressed forward. Over the course of his last 4 games, he has shown an enhanced sense of confidence in his playmaking as evidenced by his average of 6.3 assists over that timeframe. Rutgers may be ranked in the top 50 nationwide in terms of their defense, but the 6'5", 205 pound senior will have a major size advantage over Rutgers's micro-sized backcourt (Noah Fernandes is listed at 5'11", 180 pounds while his partner Derek Simpson is listed at 6'3", 165 pounds) as he looks to penetrate and create for his teammates.
Xavier Johnson OVER 10.5 Points (-115)
After an ugly return from injury in the team's stinker at Nebraska, Johnson flipped the switch in his second game back against Ohio State. After pouring in 18 points in that one, he should have a wave of confidence going into this matchup and should also stand to benefit from Indiana's size advantage in the backcourt. XJ is a sturdy 6'3", 200 pound senior that never shies away from contact and it will be important for him to be assertive right out of the gates in this one.
Malik Reneau OVER 0.5 Made 3's (-150)
Reneau is currently hitting a sizzling 47.8% from downtown on the season, a new wrinkle in his game that could unlock a whole new dimension of his potential. In the 6 games following the tough loss at Auburn in early December (beginning with Kansas), Reneau has shot an even more scintillating 62.5% (10/16) from beyond the arc.
Kel'el Ware OVER 8.5 Rebounds (-130)
Ware's scoring numbers have dipped considerably since his scorching start to the 2023-2024 season, and he was clearly bothered by the size (6'11" and 235 pounds) and activity (15 rebounds and 5 blocks) of Ohio State's Felix Okpara during the Hoosiers's last game. Unfortunately for Kel'el, he will once again be defended by a large (6'11" and 240 pounds) defensive menace (8.9 rebounds and 3.4 blocks a game on the year) in Rutgers' Clifford Omoruyi. Perhaps he will be able to re-discover his rhythm, but the safer bet would be to anticipate him making his strongest impact on the boards in this one.
RUTGERS PLAYER PROPS TO CONSIDER
Mawot Mag OVER 10.5 Points (-115)
Mawot Mag is not mistaking anyone for an efficient scorer (10.2 PPG on 36.2% shooting from the floor, 31.6% from 3, and 66.7% from the charity stripe), but he is fresh off a career high night in the Scarlet Knights's last game against Iowa. He dropped 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in that one, both personal bests for the senior. Furthermore, he hit 3 of his 6 treys against the Hawkeyes, meaning he is probably feeling himself a bit more than usual heading into this one. Plus, he is likely to be defended by Hoosier freshman Mackenzie Mgbako in this one. Mgbako has been better for Indiana as the season has progressed, but he has a tendency to dose off on the defensive end at times. Take the following snippets from Indiana's game against Ohio State for example:
That type of inattentiveness on D will have Mag licking his chops in this one.
Clifford Omoruyi OVER 8.5 Rebounds (-110)
Referring back to Kel'el Ware, Rutgers is going to need Omoruyi's energy in order to prevent the Hoosier center from getting back on track offensively. Furthermore, if he can control the boards as he has throughout his collegiate career it will go a long way in improving his team's chances of snagging a win in this one. With such a powerful frontcourt coming to town on Indiana's side, expect Clifford Omoruyi to be on the floor for a majority of the game (assuming he can avoid foul trouble).
Derek Simpson OVER 0.5 Made 3's (-230)
As our guy Matt Larson noted in his game preview for this one, the Hoosiers have shown a tendency to allow some solid performances from opposing perimeter threats. With that in mind, do not be shocked if either of the Knights' starting guards has a stronger performance than usual. While Derek Simpson is nowhere close to sharpshooter material (shooting a paltry 30% from 3 on just 9/30 on the year) but the talented sophomore did hit 3 of his 8 attempts from downtown in the two matchups between these teams in 2022-2023.