Badgers vs. Spartans: Big Ten Conference Rivals Meet in the Breslin Center

No. 17 Wisconsin Badgers at No. 8 Michigan State Spartans
Thursday, 2/16/12, 7:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Michigan State -5.5
Current Betting Line:  Michigan State -6
Opening Total:  111.5
Current Total:  114.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Wisconsin Badgers haven't won in East Lansing since 2004

Wisconsin has won seven of its last eight games and sits just a game out of first place in the Big Ten Conference.  The Badgers are on a record-setting pace on the defensive end, allowing opponents to score just 50.3 points per game, which leads the nation.  The program comes off a solid 68-61 overtime win over the Minnesota Gophers as 1.5-point road favorites.  “Anytime you can win on the road against a tough opponent it’s always fun,” stated Badgers point guard Jordan Taylor.  Wisconsin is 5-7 ATS versus conference opponents this year.

The Badgers are 5-1 in Big Ten road games this year, while going 6-2 in true road games thus far during the 2011-12 campaign.  Taylor is definitely one of the best players at his position in college basketball, averaging 17.0 points during conference action.  Wisconsin has won six of the last 10 meetings between these two schools, but has not won in East Lansing since 2004.  Badgers head coach Bo Ryan is 13-7 versus the Spartans, including a 2-6 mark inside the Breslin Center.

Michigan State is coming off a huge road win over Ohio State and is holding opponents to 37.4 percent shooting, which is the lowest percentage during the Tom Izzo era.  The Spartans will look to sweep the season series this year, capturing a 63-60 overtime win as 6.5-point road underdogs on Jan. 3.  “What you do in one game doesn’t always translate to the next game,” stated Izzo.  The team is led by senior forward Draymond Green, who is averaging 15.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, while collecting a Big Ten-best 13 double-doubles this year.  Michigan State is 4-0 ATS as a home favorite of 6.5 to 9 points this year.

The Spartans are outrebounding opponents by a sizable +10.2 margin, which is the third-best during the Izzo era.  Michigan State is 15-0 inside tonight’s venue during the 2011-12 season and will look to extend its winning streak to 17 games overall in East Lansing.  The program is 5-3 against ranked opponents this season, which is tied with Missouri, Ohio State and Notre Dame for the most in the nation in that particular situation.

Bettors will likely back the Badgers due to their 5-2 ATS mark as a road underdog of 6.5 points or less, while the Spartans are 5-17-1 ATS as a favorite in the same point range.

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