Connect with us


Penn State basketball: Rutgers preview, betting lines

Everything you must know about Penn State’s matchup with Rutgers on Sunday.



Penn State basketball
Feb 23, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions guard Jalen Pickett (22) dribbles past Ohio State Buckeyes guard Isaac Likekele (13) during the first half at Value City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday, February 26th, the Penn State Nittany Lions will host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a massive, season-changing game at the Bryce-Jordan Center in State College, PA. Penn State basketball is riding a three-game winning streak into today’s matchup, and a win over Rutgers could throw the Nittany Lions right back into the NCAA tournament picture entering the team’s final two games of the season.

Previewing Penn State basketball against Rutgers

On Sunday, the Penn State basketball team (17-11, 8-9 Big Ten) looks to keep its momentum going against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (17-11, 9-8 Big Ten) at the BJC. Penn State has won three in a row heading into this weekend’s matchup — most recently, the Nittany Lions took down the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus in a massive quad one game.

Penn State basketball is led by none other than the reigning national and Big Ten Player of the Week, Jalen Pickett, who has racked up 96 points and 20 assists in the last three games. On Thursday, at Ohio State, Pickett seemingly willed the Nittany Lions to a victory late, scoring all of Penn State’s final points. Pickett also leads the Nittany Lions’ roster in scoring (18.8), rebounds (7.3) and assists (6.9) per game — he is the only player nationally averaging 18/7/6.

Two others to keep an eye on are Seth Lundy (14.6 points per game) and Andrew Funk (12.1 points per game).

Penn State basketball lost its first matchup with Rutgers this season; however, holds a 29-10 home advantage over the Knights all-time. Additionally, Rutgers is coming in having lost four of its last five games, including a 13-point loss to the Michigan Wolverines on Thursday night in Piscataway, NJ.

What to look for: Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Rutgers has a few good things going for it, though what stands out the most is its impeccable scoring defense. On the season, Rutgers is giving up a mere 60.6 points per game — the lowest in the Big Ten. Additionally, Rutgers limits its opposition to 32.3 percent shooting from the field and 29.9 percent from 3-point range.

Two players to watch for the Scarlet Knights are Clifford Omoruyi and Cam Spencer. Omoruyi leads Rutgers with 13.3 points per game and 9.8 rebounds per game. Cam Spencer gives the Knights another 12.6 points per game.

The good news for Penn State basketball

While Rutgers boasts an incredible defense, the Penn State Nittany Lions have a few good things going for them to offset the Knights’ attack. First off, Penn State basketball could improve to 13-2 overall at the BJC with a win over Rutgers — the Nittany Lions are winning 85% of their home games this season. Secondly, Penn State is averaging a whopping 79.1 points per game at home — PSU is shooting 49.8% from the field and 41.4% from 3-point range inside of the Bryce-Jordan Center.

Nittany Lions must keep NCAA tournament hopes alive

After Rutgers’ loss to Michigan on Thursday, the Scarlet Knights are now down to quad two in the new NET rankings. Still, this weekend’s matchup will be the biggest Penn State basketball game at the BJC in years, and if PSU can come away with a win, we could be talking NCAA tournament come March. Penn State will close out the season with two more quad one games: at Northwestern and hosting Maryland.

If the Nittany Lions can grab a win this evening, only one or two more wins should cement Penn State’s spot in the big dance next month.

Betting information

According to ESPN’s model, Rutgers has a 50.5% chance of victory over Penn State basketball. Still, the Nittany Lions come into this matchup as a 3-point favorite. The over/under is set at 132 combined points.

Thank you for reading Basic Blues Nation. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and insights on your favorite Penn State athletics.

For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email our Managing Editor at It’s due to your support that we can become one of the market’s fastest-growing Penn State sports outlets!


Spinstralia Casino: online pokies real money, real fun! Get in on the action today!