The No. 8 Michigan State Spartans are the Big Ten Tournament’s top seed, and tomorrow they take the floor in Indianapolis for an early tip against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Read to find out why we are expecting a high scoring matchup.

Michigan State ended its regular season with a 6-3 spread record in its last nine games, while Iowa opened its postseason with Thursday’s 64-61 win as a two-point dog against the Illinois Fighting Illini.

Sportsbooks opened Michigan State as an 11 point favorite for the quarterfinal duel, making this the team’s 10th spot as double-digit ‘chalk.’ The span includes January’s 95-61 triumph for the Spartans against Iowa, with Tom Izzo’s squad connecting a sizable 61.7 percent of its field buckets. 

Lets break down this matchup and decide where we can find the most value with our NCAA Basketball betting choices.

Spartans blow lead in finale

Michigan State vs. IowaMichigan State gave up a 15-point lead in its regular-season finale, losing a 72-70 setback as a three-point home favorite against the No. 11 Ohio State Buckeyes. Spartans forward Draymond Green notched team-highs of 19 points and 12 boards in Sunday’s setback, recording his fourth double-double in the team’s last six games.

Green added four assists, while mates Brandon Wood and Derrick Nix united for 26 points off the bench. Michigan State connected at 45.5 percent from the field, including 5-of-14 from three-point land.

The contest’s combined 142 points leaped above the ‘total’ of 127, ending a 3-0 ‘under’ streak from the Spartans’ prior three games. Michigan State’s Keith Appling and Branden Dawson logged two steals each, with Appling hitting 4-of-11 field buckets en route to 11 points.

Hawkeyes get past Illinois

Thursday’s tourney-opening triumph for Iowa saw the Hawkeyes rally from a 31-27 halftime deficit, while edging out Illinois in rebounds, 34-32. Hawkeyes guard Matt Gatens logged a team-high 20 points, hitting 7-of-12 field buckets.

Gatens’ mate Aaron White finished with 13 points and nine boards, with the freshman reaching double figures for a second straight game. Iowa’s Bryce Cartwright notched seven of his squad’s 15 assists, while held to five points in 33 minutes of action.

The battle’s combined 125 points dipped below the ‘total’ of 132, bringing the ‘under’ to 4-0 in the Hawkeyes’ last four games. Iowa recorded a sparse 10 personal fouls, leaving the Illini without a free throw in the contest.

Back the ‘over’ between these foes 

Friday’s matchup is scheduled for 12 p.m. (ET), with ESPN slated to provide the national television coverage. The winner advances to Saturday afternoon’s first semifinal duel of the tournament. 

I am adding the ‘over’ to my sports picks in this spot, looking for Michigan State to run up points early while Iowa connects its share of hoops in “garbage time.” The Hawkeyes (72.1 PPG) and Spartans (71.9 PPG) rank in the Big Ten’s top five for scoring, with Dawson and Cartwright among the conference leaders in shooting (57.7 percent) and assists (4.3 APG), respectively.

Michigan State should be ready to let loose after the team’s two-game slide to end the regular season. Dawson and Co. have put up 72.3 PPG in spots that followed their last three defeats.

Iowa has given up 75.5 PPG in its last eight duels away from home, with the back-to-back spot likely to not make defending the Spartans any easier. Look for ‘over’ tickets to cash early here, while Michigan State looks ahead to Saturday’s card.