Big Ten Baller Picks For Tuesday

Jay Pryce

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 1:40 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 1:40 PM UTC

There’s some college basketball betting value in the Big Ten Tuesday. Check out our predictions and best bets for the No. 3 Michigan State at Rutgers and No. 14 Minnesota at Nebraska showdowns here.

No. 3 Michigan State vs Rutgers

Michigan State (7-1 SU, 6-2 ATS) travels to Rutgers (6-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) for its Big Ten road opener Tuesday night. A quartette of sophomores guides Sparty. Forward Miles Bridges, the Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year, leads the team in scoring with 14.6 points per game. He’s joined by Nick Ward (14.6), Joshua Langford (13.4), and Cassius Winston (13.3), as top points getters. Altogether, the four have combined for 66.3 percent of the team’s scoring, 46.2 percent of rebounds, and 56.4 percent of assists.

Rutgers squares off against its second ranked opponent after falling to No. 14 Minnesota 89-67 last time out. It had five players post double digits in the loss, led by Mamadou Doucoure with 13 points and 9 rebounds. Defense is the team’s strength, holding three non-conference foes to 40 points or fewer this year. The unit leads the Big Ten in scoring (56.3 ppg) and 3-point defense (.295), as well as defensive rebounding percentage (.771).

This is Michigan State’s sixth game in the last 13 days. It won the last five in a row by 21.5 points per game, including two against ranked opponents (then-No. 5 Notre Dame, then-No. 9 North Carolina). Sparty's twitter feed sums up the mood in East Lansing right now:

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Taking off ✈️ for Rutgers like...#GoGreen

— Spartan Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) December 4, 2017

Izzo’s squad is on fire. Rutgers isn’t the team to extinguish the flames. Since joining the Big Ten, Sparty has beaten it four times by an average margin of 28.5 points. This might be the best Scarlet Knights team to hit the court in this stretch, but ditto with Michigan State. Sparty wins by 20-plus. Lay the 14.5 points.

Free NCAAB Pick: Michigan St.Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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No. 14 Minnesota (-6.5) vs Nebraska

The Gophers (8-1 SU, 6-2 ATS) take their Big Ten-leading 89.4 points per game to Nebraska (6-3 SU, 4-5 ATS) Tuesday, favored by 6.5 points on the college basketball oddsboard. Player of the Year candidate Jordan Murphy is en fuego, averaging 21.0 points and 12.9 rebounds per game. The junior forward’s nine double-doubles top the nation. Murphy is joined down low by reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Reggie Lynch. The senior center, one of four returning starters, leads the country with 4.8 blocks per game. Is there a more balanced frontcourt in the nation? Nope.

The Cornhuskers are coming off a dismal B1G opener, routed 86-57 at No. 3 Michigan State on Sunday. They shot 27.4 percent from the floor and Miami transfer James Palmer Jr. was the only player to post double figures (15 points). Palmer is proving one of the best new faces in the conference, averaging 14.3 points, 1.4 steals, and 2.7 assists per game. The poor shooting display is nothing new. Nebraska’s 41.9 field goal percentage is better than only Rutgers (41.3) among conference teams.

Minnesota has played one true road game this season, beating Providence 86-74 at Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Big Ten away trips have proven a tougher task for head coach Richard Pitino historically. The Gophers are just 13-30 SU and 18-24-1 ATS since taking over in 2013. Many of the defeats occurred in the rebuilding years, but even last season, with essentially the same team, they were just 5-5 overall and 3-3 versus unranked foes.

The high-flying Pitino offense is tempered a bit in this situation. Since the NCAA sped up the shot clock, the Gophers average 67.5 points per game on 40.7 percent shooting. They’ve put up 78 points or more just three times in 20 contests.

Look for Minnesota to cool off a bit offensively, while a strong rebounding edge and paint presence keeps Nebraska struggling to score points. The Cornhuskers do a good job protecting possessions, surrendering just 11.2 turnovers per game, 27th nationally. This will also allow for fewer looks for the dangerous Minny offense. Pick ‘under’ 150 points for your best value bet.

Free NCAAB Pick: Under 151Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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