NCAA Basketball Predictions: Michigan State Spartans vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

No. 8 Michigan State Spartans vs. No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes
Saturday, 3/16/13, 4:00 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Ohio State -1
Current Betting Line:  Ohio State -2
Opening Total:  124
Current Total:  124
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Ohio State Buckeyes are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games when played on zero or one days rest
The Ohio State Buckeyes are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games when played on zero or one days rest

Michigan State has won three games in a row, including a 59-56 victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes as six-point neutral-site favorites Friday night, while going UNDER the posted total for the fourth time in five contests.  “I can say 98 percent of this year, we’ve shown up every game,” commented Spartans coach Tom Izzo.  The team will now get set for a rematch from last year’s championship game, which is important to consider when making your NCAA basketball predictions Saturday.  Michigan State is 11-3 ATS in its last 14 tries as a neutral court underdog of three points or less.

The Spartans are 25-8 in March since 2009, while they’ve gone 19-12 all-time in the Big Ten Tournament, including a 3-6 mark in the semifinals.  Michigan State is 5-5 against teams that were ranked in the AP Top 25 poll at the time of the contests, while putting together an 8-4 mark in games decided by five points or less.  During the Izzo era, the program has out-rebounded 473 of 613 opponents, which has led to a 375-98 mark when accomplishing that task.

Ohio State has won six consecutive games, including a 71-50 victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers as 14.5-point favorites Friday night, while going OVER the total for the first time in six contests.  “We are not here to just kind of have fun and be in a new city,” commented Buckeyes point guard Aaron Craft.  The Buckeyes are 20-9 all-time in this event since it began in 1998—winning nine of their last 10 games.  Ohio State is 10-3 ATS when playing with one or less days rest the last two-plus seasons, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college basketball odds page.

The Buckeyes are 150-238 all-time against ranked teams, including a 65-118 mark versus top-10 opponents.  Ohio State is 6-7 versus Michigan State when both teams enter as a ranked squad.  Head coach Thad Matta has done some of his best work in the months of March and April—compiling a 48-12 record in that situation.

Sports bettors will likely back the Buckeyes due to their 5-1 ATS mark in conference play, while the Spartans are 1-4 ATS in their last five games on a neutral floor.

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