College Basketball Wagering Picks: Michigan State Spartans at #5 Wisconsin Badgers

Michigan State Spartans at #5 Wisconsin Badgers
Kohl Center – Madison, Wisconsin
Sunday, March 1, 2015, 4:00 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Opening Line: Wisconsin -8
Current Line: Wisconsin -9
Opening Total: 126 1/2
Current Total: 124
Opening Money Line: Wisconsin -425 / Michigan State +325
Current Money Line: Wisconsin -450 / Michigan State +360

Wisconsin can clinch at least a share of the Big ten regular season title with a win over Michigan State Sunday.
Wisconsin can clinch at least a share of the Big Ten regular season title with a win over Michigan State Sunday.

The 25-3 Wisconsin Badgers lead the Big Ten at 13-2 by a game and a half over Maryland. The Badgers can clinch at least a share of the regular season title with a win Sunday at home against the 19-9 Michigan State Spartans. The Spartans are 10-5 in conference and in fourth place. While both Michigan State and Wisconsin look safely into the NCAA Tournament field both are trying to improve their seeding. Wisconsin could be in line for a #1 seed.

Michigan State leads the series 75-61 against Wisconsin but the Badgers are 44-24 in Madison. The home team has won 15 of the last 17 games in this series. The last 3 games in Madison between these teams have been decided by 3 points or less. Michigan State won the last meeting 83-75 last season in the Big Ten tournament. The Spartans have won 6 of the last 7 games in the series. This is the only scheduled meeting between the teams this season.

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Michigan State is coached by Tom Izzo. The Spartans have neutral site losses to Duke in Indianapolis and Kansas in a tournament in Orlando. Michigan State has road losses at Notre Dame, Maryland and Nebraska, along with home losses to Texas Southern, Maryland, Illinois and Minnesota 96-90 in overtime Thursday. The Minnesota loss snapped a 4 game winning streak for Michigan State. The Spartans have home wins over Santa Clara, Oakland, Eastern Michigan, Indiana, Northwestern, Penn State, Michigan, and Ohio State, neutral site wins over Rider and Marquette in Orlando, along with road wins over Navy, Iowa, Rutgers, Northwestern, Michigan and Illinois. Michigan State is 15-13 ATS and the total is 13-12-2 this season. The Spartans were 8 point favorites at Minnesota and the total was 132.5.

Wisconsin is coached by Bo Ryan. The Badgers have a home loss to Duke and road losses to Rutgers and Maryland 59-53 Tuesday. The Maryland loss snapped a 10 game winning streak for the Badgers. Wisconsin has key home wins over Green Bay, Boise State, Buffalo, Penn State, Purdue, Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana, Northwestern, Illinois and Minnesota, neutral site wins over UAB, Georgetown and Oklahoma in a tournament in the Bahamas, plus road wins over Marquette, Milwaukee, Cal, Northwestern, Michigan, Iowa, Nebraska and Penn State. The Badgers are 14-13-1 ATS and the total is 11-17 this season. Wisconsin was a 6 point favorite over Maryland and the total was 127.

Michigan State is outscoring teams 73-62 this season. The Spartans are shooting 47.4% from the field including 39.3% from 3 point range. Michigan State is #30 or better nationally in both categories. The Spartans are #329 in free throw shooting out of 353 teams at 63.6% from the line. Opponents are looking 38.9% from the field and 30.3% from 3 point range. The Spartans are #25 or better in both categories. MSU averages 38.6 rebounds per game and opponents average 27.1. The Spartans are #27 or better in both categories. Michigan State averages 17.3 assists, 12.1 turnovers, 5.4 steals and 4.5 blocks per game. Opponents average 10.2 assists, 11 turnovers, 5.9 steals and 2.5 blocks per game.

MSU guard Denzel Valentine averages 14.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game. He is probable with an ankle injury. Travis Trice averages 14.1 points, 3.4 rebounds 5.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Brandon Dawson averages 12.3 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.6 blocks per game. Bryn Forbes averages 8.9 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. Matt Costello averages 7.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. Gavin Schilling averages 5.9 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Marvin Clark, Jr., Javon Bess and Lourawls Nairn, Jr. will also get minutes in the rotation. Bess is out indefinitely with a foot injury.

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Wisconsin is outscoring teams 72-56. The Badgers are #7 nationally in points allowed. Wisconsin is shooting 47.6% from the field including 34.8% from 3 point range. The Badgers are #25 nationally in field goal percentage. Wisconsin makes 75% of their free throws and is #20 nationally in the category. Opponents are shooting 41.6% from the field and 34.9% from 3 point range. Wisconsin averages 34 rebounds per game and opponents average 25.3 per game. The Badgers are #3 nationally in rebounds allowed. Wisconsin averages 12.3 assists, 7.5 turnovers, 4.5 steals and 3.6 blocks per game. Opponents average 8.1 assists, 10.3 turnovers, 3.9 steals and 1.8 blocks per game.

Wisconsin forward Frank Kaminsky averages 17.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game. He is probable for personal reasons. Sam Dekker averages 13.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game. Nigel Hayes averages 12.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. Guard Traevon Jackson averages 9.4 points, 1.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Jackson is questionable with a foot injury after missing the last 11 games. Josh Gasser averages 7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists. Duje Dukan, Bronson Koenig, and Vitto Brown will also get minutes in the rotation.

Michigan State is 4-0 ATS in road games and against teams with winning home records, 4-1 overall and against Big Ten teams, 21-6 after a straight up loss, and 3-7 against teams with winning records, The Spartans have covered the last 7 times against the Badgers including 4-0 in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin is 3-1-1 ATS after a straight up win, 4-9 in Sunday games, 2-5 overall, and against Big Ten teams, 2-6-1 at home, and 1-4 against teams with winning road records. The under is 4-1 in this series recently.

Both teams are coming off losses that ended significant winning streaks. Michigan state is trying to bolster their resume for the NCAA Tournament and a win over one of the best teams in the country would certainly do that. However, Wisconsin is simply too tough on defense and the Badgers win at home.

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