College Basketball Predictions: Michigan Wolverines vs. Michigan State Spartans

Michigan Wolverines vs. Michigan State Spartans
Saturday, 1/25/12, 7:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Michigan State -5
Current Betting Line:  Michigan State -5.5
Opening Total:  137
Current Total:  138.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Michigan State Spartans will likely be undermanned against the Michigan Wolverines Saturday
The Michigan State Spartans will likely be undermanned against the Michigan Wolverines Saturday

Michigan has won eight games in a row, including a 75-67 victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes as three-point home favorites last time out, while going UNDER the betting total for the first time in four contests.  The Wolverines are led offensively by sophomore guard Nik Stauskas, who is averaging 18.5 points a contests—shooting 49.5 percent from the field and 44.0 from beyond the arc.  The program has won 21 games over ranked opponents in the John Beilein era, with 10 of those coming against top-10 foes.  Michigan is 1-2 SUATS as road underdogs of 3.5 to 6 points the last two-plus seasons.

The Wolverines lead the country in committing just 14.8 fouls per game, while they’ve relied on an eight-man rotation since the start of Big Ten Conference play.  Michigan is shooting a conference-best 48.7 percent from the field, while it has eclipsed the 80-point mark seven times during the 2013-14 campaign.  Over the last three seasons, the team has averaged less than 10 turnovers and ranks consistently in the top 10 nationally.

Michigan State has won 11 games in a row, while it has allowed an average of just 61.4 points per game since the start of league play—the best such figures in the Big Ten over that span.  The Spartans have two probable starters averaging in double figures, with sophomore guard Gary Harris leading the way at 18.3 points a contest.  It’s also important to point out that point guard Keith Appling has as many 20-point, 7-assists games as the rest of the conference combined.  Michigan State is 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS as home favorites of 3.5 to 6 points the last two-plus seasons.

The Spartans are 20-12 against the Wolverines under longtime head coach Tom Izzo, which is important to consider when making your college basketball predictions.  Michigan State has used nine different starting lineups in the last 14 games—something that must be taken into account when handicapping with Brandon Dawson and Adreian Payne both expected to miss this in-state matchup.

Sports bettors will likely back the Spartans due to the home team being 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.

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