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Michigan State Michigan Betting – Spartans’ Physical Play Will Be The Difference

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/6/2014 10:05:24 PM

Online betting players should be excited for Tuesday’s Big Ten matchup on the hardwood, as Michigan State has surprised everyone to move up in the rankings, even surpassing their rivals from Michigan, who are trying to make their way back into the national spotlight. However, on the road, the Spartans will flex their muscles on both ends of the floor and wear down the Wolverines with their physical play.

What: NCAA Basketball Betting
When: Tuesday, January 17th, 7:00 PM ET
Where: Crisler Center, Ann Arbor, MI
Pick: Michigan State Spartans

Why Bet On Michigan State Spartans (15-2 SU, 11-4 ATS, 4-0 Big Ten)

The No.6 Spartans still have to head to Northwestern this weekend, and they would be looking to extend their winning streak to 16 games after a 95-61 trouncing of Iowa at home on Tuesday. Draymond Green had a huge game with 22 points, nine boards, five assists and three steals, while Keith Appling had 15 points and nine assists for the Spartans, who had 25 assists on 37 field goals. The Spartans also hit 61.7% of their field-goal attempts, including 10 of their 18 three-point attempts and defensively, Michigan State held Iowa to 36.5% from the floor and forced 21 turnovers. It was as close to a perfect performance as you can get from a team, and after opening the season with losses to North Carolina and Duke on neutral courts.

If they can manage to get through the Northwestern game without any injuries, the Spartans should be healthy and that is bad news for the Wolverines because Michigan State is playing as well as anyone in the country. They’re doing it in typical Tom Izzo fashion as they’re crashing the boards (fifth in rebounding margin), they play good defense (15th in field-goal defense) and they pass the ball around (23rd in assists). The emergence of Appling after switching from shooting guard to the point has been a revelation for Izzo, and he is also defending the best perimeter player on the opposition, so the Spartans haven’t missed Kalin Lucas or Korie Lucious. Many NCAA basketball betting players counted out the Spartans before the season even started, but after wins at Gonzaga and Wisconsin, as well as a dominant home win over Indiana, Michigan State is looking scary.

Why Bet On Michigan Wolverines (14-3 SU, 8-6 ATS, 4-1 Big Ten)

The No.13 Wolverines also have a weekend game as they travel to Iowa, and they would be coming off a 66-64 overtime win at home over Northwestern on Wednesday. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke both played all 45 minutes and scored 19 points apiece, with Hardaway Jr. hitting five of his nine long-range shots and Burke adding seven assists and seven rebounds. Michigan shot a miserable 33.3% from the field and hit only seven of their 30 three-point attempts, while Northwestern hit 50% of their shots, but they knocked down 15 of their 16 free-throw attempts. They also had 14 offensive rebounds to three for the Wildcats and only seven turnovers to 15 for Northwestern, and this was a game that should give the Wolverines some encouragement because they didn’t play their best game, but they kept battling and found a way to come away with the victory.

Forward Jon Horford (foot) is no closer to rejoining the team, which hurts Michigan on the glass, but they showed against Northwestern that they can hit the boards as a team and they’ll need that against Michigan State. The Wolverines are 90th in rebounding margin and they have to figure out a way to compete against the Spartans on the glass or else this game will be over by halftime. The Wolverines normally live and die by the three, ranking 28th in three-pointers per game while hitting them at a 36.5% clip, but if they’re not falling, they need to rebound in order to hang with the Spartans.

 

How It Will Play Out

Michigan should be narrow NCAA basketball betting favorites at home against the Spartans, who are 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS in their last five in Ann Arbor with three games coming in under the posted total. The Wolverines swept the Spartans last year, and they’re 5-4 ATS at home this season, while the Spartans are 5-0 ATS on the road.

Michigan State will be motivated because of last year’s sweep, and we think they’re a tougher team than the Wolverines, by leaps and bounds. They have the ability to dominate the glass, and the Spartans are excellent when it comes to defending the three-point line (37th in three-point defense). They can take away what Michigan likes to do, and then pound the ball in the post with Green and Derrick Nix. Go with Michigan State to come away with the rivalry win on the road in your sports betting book.

Michigan State Michigan Betting Pick: Michigan State Spartans

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