Michigan State Spartans vs. Texas Longhorns: College Basketball Betting Odds and Picks

Michigan State Spartans vs. Texas Longhorns
Saturday, 12/21/13, 4:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Michigan State -2.5
Current Betting Line:  Michigan State -2.5
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Michigan State Spartans will be playing their first true road game of the season
The Michigan State Spartans will be playing their first true road game of the season

Michigan State travels to Austin to take on Texas for the seventh time in the last eight seasons, as it prepares to play its first true road game of the 2013-14 campaign, which is important to consider when making your college basketball betting picks.  The Spartans have four players averaging in double figures, with sophomore guard Gary Harris leading the way, as he’s scoring 17.6 points a contest.  The program is averaging 11.3 turnovers per game—its lowest average of the Tom Izzo era.  Michigan State is 1-3 SUATS as road favorites of three or fewer points the last two-plus seasons.

The Spartans are averaging 19.5 assists on the season, which leads the Big Ten Conference and nation in that particular category.  Michigan State has used five different starting lineups in the last five games, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college basketball odds page.  All eight previous meetings in this series have been decided by 12 or fewer points.  It’s important to point out that the roster is shooting just 68.2 percent from the charity stripe, but its top three options all hit at a clip of 72 percent or higher.

Texas is off to its best 11-game start since the 2009-10 campaign, as it has held foes to an average of 69.7 points on 39.2 percent shooting.  The Longhorns held the North Carolina Tar Heels to 38.5 percent shooting from the floor in Wednesday’s upset victory in Chapel Hill.  The squad has four players averaging double figures, with junior guard Jonathan Holmes leading the way at 13.1 points a contest.  The program owns a solid 30-17 SU record at home under longtime head coach Rick Barnes.  Texas is 3-0 SUATS as home underdogs of three or fewer points the last two-plus seasons.

The Longhorns have posted a 6-2 record in playing back-to-back pre-holiday games against the Spartans and Tar Heels the past four years, as they try to improve upon their 59-82 overall record against ranked teams under Barnes.  Texas has out-rebounded 10 of its first 11 opponents—ranking 13th nationally with a +9.7 margin in that all-important category.

Sports bettors will likely back the Longhorns due to their 7-0 ATS mark in their last seven games versus Big Ten Conference foes.

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