College Basketball Betting: Spartans to Bog Down Cornhuskers on Sunday

Mark Lathrop

Sunday, December 3, 2017 2:40 PM UTC

Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017 2:40 PM UTC

Our MLB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, moved to 12-2 ATS after backing a huge underdog on Saturday afternoon. This game also features a significant underdog, but is the value on the line or the total? Read on to find out!

Free NCAAB Picks: UNDER 142
Best Lines Available (-105) at Heritage

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The 3rd ranked Michigan State Spartans and the Nebraska Cornhuskers start their Big 10 Conference play a little earlier than normal with their first matchup a few weeks earlier than in past years. The Spartans shouldn’t care much, as the books expect them to outmatch the Cornhuskers here and have placed them as 19.5 point favorites across the betting odds board. The O/U total has opened at 140 at books such as 5Dimes.

Michigan State is coming off of their two best games of the year, a 63-45 hammering of North Carolina, and an 81-63 destruction of then #5 Notre Dame. Obviously, by looking at the scores, the Michigan State defense was excellent and a big part of these wins. Their average winning margin of 27.7 points per game is elite, as is their 63.0 points per game allowed and 35.1% shooting percentage allowed from the field.

The Spartans are exceptionally deep, with 9 players on their roster averaging 10.1 minutes or more, and no player averaging over 28 minutes per game. They are led in minutes by sophomore 6’ 0” guard, Cassius Winston, who averages 12.9 points and 7.4 assists per game. They are led in scoring by Miles Bridges, a 6’ 7” swingman who averages 15.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. The elite swingmen in college basketball often cause extreme mismatches against lower opponents.

Even though Nebraska is ranked 104th in the overall rankings, they still find themselves 6-2 on the season. Their signature win of the season came Wednesday against Boston College, as they won by a 71-62 score as slight 3-point favorites. That may be their only success for some time with their next games coming against #3 Michigan State, #12 Minnesota, #25 Creighton, and #2 Kansas. The Cornhuskers also find themselves 4-4 ATS this season, with all four of those ATS wins coming as favorites. They’ve protected ball too, with just an average of 12 turnovers per game this year. That is compared to a 16 turnover average for the Spartans this year.

After this game, the Spartans travel on Monday to take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Tuesday. After that is a bunch of cupcake games, as the Spartans match up with Southern Utah, Oakland, Houston Babtist, Long Beach State, Cleveland State, and Savannah State to finish off the year. Nebraska (and Rutgers) may be the last legitimate opponent that the Spartans see in the next month. I don’t know if that is a motivational factor or not, but the fact that the Nebraska Cornhuskers have only averaged 71.0 points on the road this year suggests that the Spartan defense should continue to see success in this game. I’ll take the under of 140 points in this game as the Spartans bear down at home again as my Sunday NCAAB Pick.

2017-18 NCAAB Record: 12-2, +9.85 Units

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