NCAA Basketball Picks: Michigan State Spartans vs. Indiana Hoosiers

Michigan State Spartans vs. Indiana Hoosiers
Saturday, 1/4/14, 2:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Michigan State -2
Current Betting Line:  Michigan State -3.5
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Michigan State Spartans have dropped their last three games against the Indiana Hoosiers

The Michigan State Spartans have dropped their last three games against the Indiana Hoosiers

Michigan State travels to Indiana to open up Big Ten Conference play with a second straight road game for the fourth time in nine seasons, with the team posting a perfect 12-0 SU record when outshooting its opponent during the 2013-14 campaign.  The Spartans have four players averaging in double figures, with sophomore guard Gary Harris leading the way at 17.4 points a contest.  Michigan State is 2-3 SUATS as road favorites of three or fewer points the last two-plus seasons.

The Spartans dropped both meetings against the Hoosiers by a combined nine points a season ago, which can’t be ignored when looking over the NCAA basketball lines.  Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has sent out seven different starting lineups in the last eight games, but it has still managed to rank second in the conference in averaging 83.3 points per game.  Ball movement has been the key to the team’s early success on the offensive end—ranking second in the nation in dishing out 19.2 assists per contest.

Indiana returned just one starter from last year’s Big Ten championship squad, which is important to consider when making your NCAA basketball picks.  The Hoosiers lead the nation in out-rebounding opponents by an average of 13.9 boards per game, while they’ve managed to shoot 52.3 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond the arc in their last three games.  Since the 2011-12 season, the program has compiled a dominating 44-3 SU record at Assembly Hall.  Indiana is 10-5 SU and 5-9-1 ATS in January the last two-plus seasons.

The Hoosiers are led offensively by the play of sophomore Kevin Ferrell, who is averaging 17.7 points and is one of the 10 most improved scorers in the country from a year ago.  He has made great strides in his long distance shooting—knocking down 44 percent of his attempts this season after making 30.3 percent as a freshman.

Sports bettors will likely play the total, as the UNDER is 6-1 in the Spartans’ last seven conference games.

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