NCAA Basketball Picks: Michigan State Spartans vs. Indiana Hoosiers

No. 13 Michigan State Spartans at No. 7 Indiana Hoosiers
Sunday, 1/27/12, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Indiana -9.5
Current Betting Line:  Indiana -9.5
Opening Total:  135.5
Current Total:  135.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Indiana Hoosiers are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games
The Indiana Hoosiers are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games

Michigan State will put its six-game win streak on the line Sunday, as it comes off an impressive 49-47 victory over the Wisconsin Badgers as five-point road underdogs, while going UNDER the total for a second consecutive contest.  The Spartans have won three straight games away from East Lansing, but have dropped five of their last seven trips to Assembly Hall.  The squad has outscored 17 of its 20 opponents in the paint this year.  Michigan State is 12-7 ATS as an underdog the last two-plus seasons, which can’t be ignored when making your NCAA basketball picks Sunday.

The Spartans are 6-1 in games decided by five points or less, including a 3-0 mark versus Big Ten Conference play.  Michigan State has three players averaging in double figures, with junior point guard Keith Appling scoring 14.1 points per game, as he’s been the team’s leading scorer 11 times.  Head coach Tom Izzo is 18-11 in his career against Indiana, including wins in six of the last seven games in the series.

Indiana has won back-to-back conference games, including a 72-49 blowout victory over the Penn State Nittany Lions as 24-point home favorites, but it’s important to note that the program has failed to cover the spread in six of its last seven contests.  “It’s a hard league,” commented Hoosiers coach Tom Crean.  The Hoosiers have been getting it done on the defensive end during Big Ten competition, as they’ve held opponents to 36.9 percent shooting from the floor.  Indiana is 1-4 ATS as a home favorite of 6.5 to 9 points since 2010, which is something to consider when looking over the college basketball odds page.

The Hoosiers are the only team in the country to rank in the top ten in field goal percentage and field goal percentage defense, which has led directly to an average point differential of 23.8 points per game.  Indiana has compiled a dominating 30-2 record at home the last two years, with center Cody Zeller being the main player, as he ranks seventh in the country in knocking down 61 percent of his shots.

Sports bettors will likely back the Hoosiers due to the home team covering the spread in 16 of the last 21 meetings.

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