College Basketball Predictions: Northwestern Wildcats vs. Michigan State Spartans

Northwestern Wildcats vs. Michigan State Spartans
Thursday, 2/13/14, 7:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Michigan State -14.5
Current Betting Line:  Michigan State -14.5
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Michigan State Spartans are 28-4 SU against the Northwestern Wildcats under Tom Izzo
The Michigan State Spartans are 28-4 SU against the Northwestern Wildcats under Tom Izzo

Northwestern seeks its fourth straight Big Ten Conference road win, while it also attempts to bounce back from a 53-49 defeat to the Nebraska Cornhuskers as two-point home favorites last Saturday.  The Wildcats have two probable starters averaging in double figures, with senior forward Drew Crawford leading the way at 16.1 points a contest, which is important to consider when making your college basketball predictions.    Offensively, the team is averaging 60.8 points per game on 39.8 percent shooting.  Northwestern is 4-1 ATS in its last five games versus a team with a winning percentage above .600.

The Wildcats defense has keyed the team’s revival over the last eight games, as they’ve held foes to a combined 34.8 percent shooting from the field.  Northwestern needs a major performance by Tre Demps if it hopes to pull off an upset, as he’s averaging 10.5 points per game off the bench, including scoring in double figures 15 times.

Michigan State has alternated wins and losses over its six games, as it dropped a 60-58 decision to the Wisconsin Badgers as four-point road underdogs Sunday, while going UNDER the betting total for the third time in four contests.  The Spartans have two probable starters averaging in double figures, with sophomore guard Gary Harris and Adreian Payne scoring 17.6 and 15.9 points per game respectively.  Payne has averaged 18.0 points since returning from a foot injury.  Michigan State is 5-1 ATS in its last six games following a SU loss.

The Spartans have compiled a dominating 28-4 SU record against the Wildcats under the direction of head coach Tom Izzo, while they’ve also captured 44 of their last 48 games overall at the Breslin Center.  Michigan State is on pace to shatter the mark for fewest turnovers during the Izzo era, as its currently averaging 11.3 miscues per game, with the previous record being 13.0 in 2011-12.  The program has used 13 different starting lineups in the last 19 games.

Sports bettors will likely back the Spartans due to their 11-4 ATS mark in their last 15 games.

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