Bison Easy Prey for Spartans in Midwest Region Action

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 1:23 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 14, 2018 1:23 PM UTC

Patriot Conference champ Bucknell will enter the Big Dance as a No. 14 seed in the Midwest and take on a big dog in the Big Ten, No. 3 Michigan State. Let’s see if the Spartans are that much better than their small conference opponents.

No. 14 Bucknell (25-9 SU, 5-5 ATS) vs. No. 3 Michigan State (29-4 SU, 15-17 ATS)Midwest Region, Friday, 7:10 PM ETFree NCAAB Pick: Michigan State -14½Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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  • Michigan State is 35-17-1 ATS in their last 53 games as a favorite of 13.0 or greater.
  • Michigan State is 35-16 ATS in their last 51 games following a straight up loss.
  • Michigan State is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following a double-digit loss at home.
  • Bucknell is 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games following an ATS win.
  • Bucknell is 1-5 ATS in their last six neutral site games as an underdog.

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.@MilesBridges01 has been named a Second Team All-American by the @USBWA, his 3️⃣rd All-American honor in the last week 👀


— Spartan Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) March 12, 2018

Michigan State enters the tournament with the bitter taste of defeat in their mouths after getting bounced from the Big Ten tournament by their intra-state rivals from Michigan. The 75-64 loss was a harsh reminder to the Spartans that as good as they are, this is a team that is susceptible to underwhelming efforts. However, this is also a club that is built around team play as evidenced by their 19.3 assists per game, which leads the nation. This is not only a selfless squad but one that is has as good a set of sharp-shooters as you will find in college hoops. MSU has the sixth-best field-goal percentage in the nation, clicking on 50.4 percent of their shots, and rank fifth in shots beyond the arc, hitting 41.3 percent of their three-pointers.

Bucknell is the proverbial small fish in the big pond, and on Friday night they will find out how it feels to swim with the sharks. The Bison actually score a click more per game than their opponents in the opening round, averaging 81.1 PPG vs. 81 for the Spartans. But let’s not forget that Bucknell was facing small D-1 schools while MSU was knocking heads with the best in the business. The Bison will rely on their offense to keep pace, but if they are to have any shot at winning this game then their defense must be able to contain the Spartans’ attack.

We all know that the public has a fondness for the big favorites installed by the NCAA basketball odds makers, and try as we might to avoid falling into that trap we must look at the matchups and how this one will shake out. MSU’s Miles Bridges is the team’s leading scorer, averaging nearly 17 points per game, and he will undoubtedly have an impact on this game. However, don’t be surprised if freshman center Jaren Jackson Jr. has a tremendous game down low for Michigan State. There is no one on Bucknell’s roster who has the size and ability to move Jackson off the post. At 6’11” Jackson will be the biggest man on the court and will be a force at both ends. I see the Spartans blowing the Bison off the court and cruising to a 20-point plus victory, so be sure to back the Spartans in your NCAA basketball picks. Michigan State, or Bucknell should they shock the world, will face the winner of the TCU vs. ASU/Syracuse game.

Check out SBR’s college basketball odds page for updated lines. Also, head over to the March Madness Betting Headquarters for vital handicapping information, picks, and a list of the best sports books and live betting options for the tournament season.

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