Bet Michigan St. -14.5 With Your NCAA Basketball Picks vs. Ohio St.

Jason Lake

Saturday, March 5, 2016 12:39 AM UTC

Saturday, Mar. 5, 2016 12:39 AM UTC

The Michigan State Spartans have beaten the NCAA Basketball odds in 10 straight games, including a laugher over their opponents this Saturday, the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Jason's 2015-16 record as of Mar. 4: 8-9 ATS, 1-2 Totals

Looks like it's time to put our proverbial money where our proverbial mouth is. The Michigan State Spartans (25-5 SU, 20-9 ATS) are in action this Saturday at noon Eastern on ESPN; they'll host the Ohio State Buckeyes (19-11 SU, 16-12 ATS) in the last game of the Big Ten regular season. You might recall our award-smelting article from earlier this week, where we predicted the Spartans would get a No. 1 seed once March Madness rolls around.

Does that mean we'll be putting Sparty in our NCAA Basketball picks? Oh, probably. They're 9-1 SU and 10-0 ATS in their last 10 games. That includes an 81-62 win over Ohio State (+7 at home) on February 23. Michigan State is laying 15 points at home for the rematch, though. That's a lot of points. Hmmmm.


Spread 'Em
How about a little guidance from our friendly friends at Sports-Reference? They agree with the Spartans (+23.59 SRS) being the No. 2-ranked team in Division I. The Buckeyes (+10.41 SRS), on the other hand, are No. 64 overall according to the Simple Rating System. That's the rough equivalent of MSU –16.5 at East Lansing. Profit margin~!

Well, that's if we take it. We got a bit gun-shy here at the home office when the Maryland Terrapins were laying 15 points at home last Thursday to the Illinois Fighting Illini. Final score: Maryland 81, Illinois 55. Phooey. But it wasn't just the NCAA Basketball odds that had us worried. Maryland has not being playing very well of late. Can't say the same thing for the Spartans.


When I'm 64
Then again, Ohio State is a much better team than Illinois (No. 109 overall at +4.43 SRS). The Buckeyes are also No. 64 on Ken Pomeroy's efficiency charts, featuring the No. 22-ranked defense in Division I. Both these Big Ten team operate at a slow pace, which will make covering that massive spread more difficult. One more thing: Ohio State is 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS in its last six games, including that loss to Sparty.

Nice, but there's one other more thing: The Buckeyes won't have sophomore forward Jae'Sean Tate (19.3 PER, +6.3 BPM) on Saturday. Tate was dealing with a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder, and he finally decided to have surgery last week. That Michigan State game was the first one Tate sat out, and we saw what happened there.

So, yeah, we'll be on the Spartans for Saturday's rematch. They'll be missing a useful bench player in freshman forward Kenny Goins (15.4 PER, +9.1 BPM), who's out with a torn left knee, but there's no shortage of quality replacements on Tom Izzo's squad. And did we mention it's Senior Day at the Breslin Center?

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Michigan State –14.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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