Big Ten Betting Picks: #13 Michigan State Spartans at Purdue Boilermakers

#13 Michigan State Spartans at Purdue Boilermakers
Mackey Arena – West Lafayette, Indiana

Thursday, February 20, 2014, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Michigan State -4 1/2
Current Line: Michigan State -5 1/2
Opening Total: 140
Current Total; 140
Opening Money Line: Michigan State -200 / Purdue +170
Current Money Line: Michigan State -240 / Purdue +200

Michigan State is a 5.5 point favorite at Purdue Thursday night.
Michigan State is a 5.5 point favorite at Purdue Thursday night.

After an 18-1 start, the Michigan State Spartans have alternated wins and losses in the last 7 game to fall to 21-5. The Spartans were upset at home Sunday against Nebraska 60-51. Michigan State is tied with Michigan for the Big Ten lead at 10-3. The Spartans try to get back on track as they travel to the 15-10 Purdue Boilermakers Thursday night. The Boilermakers are 5-7 in conference and alone in eighth place. Purdue beat rival Indiana 82-64 Saturday in West Lafayette.

Purdue leads the series 65-50 against Michigan State, including 40-17 in West Lafayette. However, Michigan State has won 5 straight games in the series, including 78-65 in the last meeting last season at Purdue. This is the only scheduled meeting between the schools this season.

Michigan State is coached by Tom Izzo. The Spartans have losses at home to North Carolina and Michigan, Georgetown in New York City, at Wisconsin, and at home to Nebraska. Michigan State also has key wins over Kentucky in Chicago, Columbia, Portland, Virginia Tech and Oklahoma in a tournament in Brooklyn, Oakland in Auburn Hills, at Texas, Penn State twice, Indiana twice, Ohio State, Minnesota, Northwestern twice, at Illinois and at Iowa. Michigan State is 14-9-2 ATS and the total is 12-13 this season.

Michigan State is outscoring teams 77-65 this season. The Spartans are #49 in scoring and #48 in points allowed nationally. MSU is shooting 46.7% from the field and 37.9% from 3 point range. The Spartans are #52 or better nationally in both categories. Michigan State makes 69.4% of their free throws. Spartan opponents are shooting 38.7% from the field and 31.9% from 3 point range. Michigan State is #12 in opponents’ field goal percentage nationally. The Spartans average 38.5 rebounds per game and opponents average 30.3 per game. MSU is #33 in rebounding nationally. The Spartans average 17.2 assists, 11.1 turnovers, 7.4 steals and 4.8 blocks per game. Opponents average 10.6 assists, 13 turnovers, 5.3 steals and 3.3 blocks per game.

Guard Gary Harris averages 17.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 2.0 steals per game. Center Adreian Payne averages 16.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. Guard Keith Appling averages 14.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. He is probable with a wrist injury. Guard Branden Dawson averages 10.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. He is out until late February with a broken hand. Guard Denzel Valentine averages 7.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.1 steal per game. Guard Travis Trice averages 6.9 points, 1.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1 steal per game. Kenny Kaminski and Matt Costello will also get significant minutes in the rotation. Costello leads the team in blocks at 1.5 per game.

Purdue is coached by Matt Painter. The Boilermakers have losses to Oklahoma State and Washington State in a tournament in Orlando, Butler in Indianapolis, Ohio State twice, at Minnesota, at Northwestern, Wisconsin, at Michigan, and at Penn State. Purdue has key wins over Rider, Siena twice (once in Orlando), Boston College, Eastern Michigan, at West Virginia, Nebraska, at Illinois, Penn State, Minnesota and Indiana. Purdue has gone 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games. The Boilermakers are 8-13 ATS and the total is 9-12 this season.

Purdue is outscoring teams 73-70 this season. The Boilermakers are shooting 42.9% from the field and 34% from 3 point range. Purdue is #297 out of 351 teams nationally in free throw shooting at 65.7% from the line. Boilermaker opponents are shooting 41.3% from the field and 32% from 3 point range. Purdue averages 39.7 rebounds per game and opponents average 32.3 per game. Purdue is #17 in rebounding nationally. The Boilermakers average 13.4 assists, 12.1 turnovers, 6.1 steals and 5.6 blocks per game. Opponents average 12 assists, 12.6 turnovers, 6.3 steals and 5.5 blocks per game.

Guard Terone Johnson averages 12.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. His brother guard Ronnie Johnson averages 10.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Center A.J. Hammons averages 10.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game. Guard Kendall Stephens averages 7.5 points and 1.6 rebounds. Guard Bryson Scott averages 6.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1 steal per game. Basil Smotherman, Sterling Carter, Rapheal Davis, Jay Simpson and Errick Peck will also get time in the rotation. Each averages at least 4.4 points per game.

Michigan State is 4-0 ATS in Thursday games, 7-1 in road games, and against teams with winning home records, 6-1 after a straight up loss, 4-1 after failing to cover and in Big Ten games, and 12-5 overall. The favorite is 4-0 ATS in this series recently. Michigan State has covered the last 5 games in this series, and 4 of the last 5 at Purdue.

Purdue is 2-5 ATS overall and in Big Ten games, 10-27-1 after a cover, 3-11-1 in Thursday games, 1-4 after a win, 1-4 against teams with winning records, and 1-6 at home. The last 4 games in this series have gone over the total, but the under is 9-4 recently in West Lafayette in the series.

Michigan State has been inconsistent recently without Dawson. Appling has been battling some nagging injuries but is playing. Normally I would say, the Spartans might overlook this game as they travel to Michigan Saturday for a battle for first place in the Big Ten. However, I don’t think Izzo will let the Spartans play two clunkers in a row.

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