Date and Time: Saturday, January 25, 2014 7:00 PM EST on ESPN
Game Line: Michigan State -4.5 (from BetOnline)
Saturday NCAABB analysis: The #21 ranked Michigan Wolverines take the short trip to East Lansing to take on conference rival and the #3 ranked Michigan State Spartans.
The Michigan Wolverines (14-4) are currently on an 8 game win streak, and are coming off back to back wins at Wisconsin and at home over Iowa. Since their narrow loss to top ranked Arizona, coach John Beilein has this team believing. The Wolverines are scoring 77.2 ppg, and are shooting 48.7% from the field, tops in the Big Ten. One the glass they aren’t too impressive, only averaging 33.7 per game. Defensively, they are allowing opponents to shoot 43.1% from the field and giving up 63.7 ppg.
Michigan State (18-1) has won 11 in a row since a shocking loss at home to North Carolina in early December. They have a couple of impressive wins on their resume over Kentucky and Oklahoma. Their win over Ohio State looked good, but with the way the Buckeyes have struggle, you would have to wonder how much stock you can put in to that one. The Spartans offense puts up 79.9 points per game and is shooting 47.8% from the field. They are also efficient from 3 point land, hitting 38.5% of their 3 point attempts, tops in the conference. They are good on the glass, and average 39.5 rebounds per game. The Spartan defense allows 63.9 points per game, and are limiting opponents to 37.9% shooting.
I’m going to take the points on Saturday with the Wolverines. Michigan is playing a good brand of basketball, and are currently on a 6-1 ATS run. Michigan State might be the #3 ranked team and playing on their home court, but injuries might catch up with this team sooner rather than later. The Spartans will be without the services of Branden Dawson and Adrien Payne, their two leading rebounders. Sure, the Spartans are the better rebounding team, but without those two the advantage in the paint is severely diminished. Michigan State may have the home court, but right now, it looks like Michigan has the more complete roster. It may not be that way by the time March rolls around, but for now I’ll take the points in a game that should go down to the wire.
Michigan at Michigan State Free NCAABB pick: Michigan +4.5
Michigan at Michigan State Free NCAABB Game Prediction: Michigan 65 Michigan State 63