Bet Michigan State over Iowa for NCAA Basketball Picks

Jeff Grant

Thursday, March 6, 2014 3:34 PM GMT

The Michigan State Spartans have dominated the Iowa Hawkeyes at the Breslin Center, as the two teams prepare to close our their regular-season series Thursday night. Where does the best value lie for our college basketball picks?

Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA basketball odds for this Big Ten Conference matchup, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":260388, "sportsbooksIds":[43], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Back on track

Iowa snapped a three-game losing streak last time out, as it picked up a 83-76 victory over the Purdue Boilermakers as 15-point home favorites, while going OVER the betting total for an eighth consecutive contest.

The Hawkeyes are 15-0 SU in games decided by double digits and 5-9 in games decided by single digits.  

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 9-5 SU and 10-4 ATS in March, with the OVER going 8-6 in that situation.

Nervous times

Michigan State is in danger of landing a seed lower than four in the upcoming NCAA Tournament, as it has dropped back-to-back games for the first time this season, including a 53-46 setback to the Illinois Fighting Illini as 12.5-point home favorites last Saturday.

The Spartans have used 15 different starting lineups, with 11 different players starting at least one contest.

College basketball handicappers will find that the team is 4-1 ATS in its last five games following a loss.

Series history

The Hawkeyes have dropped their last 17 trips to East Lansing, which is the main reason why their listed as a road underdog on the SBR Odds page.

It’s important to point out that the last three installments of this series have been decided by three or fewer points, with Iowa suffering a 71-69 overtime loss at home in the first regular season meeting on Jan. 28.

Winning it on the defensive end

The Spartans will pick up a win and cover this number if they regain their strong play on the defensive end, as they’ve allowed their last three opponents to average 70.3 points on 49 percent shooting from the field.

Michigan State ranks first in the Big Ten in holding foes to 39.7 percent shooting on the year, while it sits fifth in scoring defense when taking on conference foes.

Join SBR's 2014 NCAA Brackets Contest Now

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Spartans as one of their NCAA basketball picks, as they’ve gone 4-1 ATS in their last five games against the Hawkeyes.

Iowa missed out on picking up a win over Michigan State at home—it’s certainly not going to happen in this spot.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Michigan State Spartans -4.5