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Predictions For Betting On Minnesota Michigan State – Minnesota Tries To Regain Lost Leverage

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/4/2013 5:56:07 PM

Minnesota will go on the road in search of a key resume-building win, while Michigan State looks to keep pace with Indiana and Michigan in a race for the Big Ten’s regular season title.

Minnesota Golden Gophers @ Michigan State Spartans – Wednesday, February 6      
Betting line:

Why Minnesota Will Win

Even an online horse betting guru could tell you that the Gophers already own a 76-63 victory over the Spartans earlier this year in the teams' first league game. In that contest, Andre Hollins had 22 points on only 10 shots. He has had some of his best performances this season in the Gophers’ biggest games. Despite being relatively close in rebounding, the Gophers dominated the Spartans in that first matchup on the boards, outrebounding Michigan State by 14. The Gophers already present one of the toughest interior teams to break down in the Big Ten with 129 team blocks, tops in the league. If they can duplicate the rebounding effort from the last time these teams met, the Spartans may wind up relying on jump shots throughout the night. The Gophers sit at only 5-4 in league play but have lost three tough games to other Big Ten contenders Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin.

The Spartans turn the ball over more than any other team in the Big Ten at 14.3 per game. The Gophers, playing on the road, need to take the crowd out of the game early. That may be the first step to winning in East Lansing. If the Gophers can get out to a quick lead and force Michigan State to play from behind, the Gophers have a chance to pull off the sweep of the season series.

Why Michigan State Will Win

When a winning poker hand exists, you don't need to worry about the cards. Tom Izzo knows how to play a winning hand. One thing working in Michigan State’s favor is Minnesota’s home-away splits. The Gophers are just 1-3 on the road in Big Ten play, including a loss to Northwestern that looks worse and worse by the week.

While Minnesota has won two straight, the wins came against Nebraska and Iowa, ending a stretch of four straight losses. Thus it may be fair to ask if the Gophers are back on track or if they’ve just benefitted from a break in the competition. While Keith Appling had 15 points in the last meeting with Minnesota, it took him 16 shots to do so. In a game where turnovers are likely to flow – these are the top two turnover-committing teams in the Big Ten – running efficient offense will be a problem for the Gophers on the road.

Minnesota has other concerns as well. Since 2007-2008, only Michigan and Purdue have swept Michigan State in a season series, and both of those occurrences came in 2010-2011, when Michigan State lost 15 games and went 9-9 in Big Ten play. More often than not, teams who beat Michigan State the first time don’t repeat it against Izzo.

Who Will Win

Even in a win over Iowa, Minnesota still looks like a team in a rut. Going to Michigan State to face a good Spartans team that has wins over Ohio State and Wisconsin in recent weeks will not be enjoyable for the Gophers. Michigan State should feed off the home crowd and do a better job on the boards to give the Gophers another loss.

College Basketball Betting Pick: Michigan State

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