No. 14 Iowa To Hang Close With No. 9 Michigan State In Big Ten Tilt

Willie Bee

Sunday, December 2, 2018 2:21 PM UTC

Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018 2:21 PM UTC

Underdogs on the NCAAB odds board, Iowa needs an upset Monday night at Michigan State to avoid an 0-2 start on the Big Ten schedule. Let's break it down, and bet confidently with

Willie's NCAAB season picks record: 16-8-1 (+7.55 units)

Iowa (6-1 SU, 2-5 ATS) at Michigan State (6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS)Monday, 6:30 p.m. ET (FS1)Free NCAAB Pick: Iowa ATSBest Line Offered: 5Dimes

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It is never easy to go into East Lansing and beat the Michigan State Spartans. Adding a little extra pressure to the task Fran McCaffery and his Hawkeyes face in Monday night’s trip to East Lansing is Iowa’s need to avoid an 0-2 start on the Big Ten schedule.

It certainly makes for a great start to the week, and the only battle between ranked teams on the Monday NCAA basketball odds card should make for interesting action as the rivals meet for the 129th time. The Spartans are decided favorites at Breslin Center, scoreboard bettors looking at the upper-150s for their decisions.

Spartans 11th In Nation At 86.9 PPG

The Hawkeyes suffered their first setback Friday in the conference opener against Wisconsin as a couple of second-half scoring droughts cost them in a 72-66 decision. Small underdogs at home, it was the third consecutive defeat for Iowa backers, and fifth time in the first seven games the Hawkeyes failed to cover. McCaffery’s bunch is 33rd in the country, averaging more than 82 points per game, but the offense has run hot and cold, and those cold streaks have been behind the ATS losses, and cost them big in Friday’s late failure vs. the Badgers.

Conversely, the Spartans are coming off their fourth cover in five games following a 78-67 win Friday at Rutgers where BetOnline closed State as 8-point chalk. Cassius Winston led the way with 22 points and six assists, and Nick Ward added 20. The win came after being upset in overtime at Louisville in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, Michigan State’s first loss since dropping a close one to then-No. 1 Kansas in the season opener. The Spartans might be without Matt McQuaid for a third consecutive game, with the senior guard listed as doubtful with a thigh injury. McQuaid is fourth on the team averaging 7.3 PPG, and second with 3.0 assists.

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Draymond Green, back in Michigan tonight, with a detailed answer about why Tom Izzo, his college coach, means so much to him. Said Izzo was “blowing up my phone” after recent suspension.

— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 1, 2018

First True Road Test Of Season For Hawkeyes

Michigan State has won 11 of the last 13 matchups with Iowa to take a 73-55 lead in the rivalry, but it’s the Hawkeyes who have been the better play the past few years by covering three of the last four meetings. It was a very similar spread the last time the Hawkeyes visited Breslin Center, and Iowa came away with a 76-59 upset. Last year’s lone meeting was in Iowa City, the Spartans leaving with a 96-93 decision as both sides shot better than 52%.

Both teams have tough matchups on deck, the Spartans traveling to Florida next Saturday to take on the Gators while the Hawkeyes are in Ames on Thursday to continue their rivalry with Iowa State. Michigan State wins this one, but the chalk is too thick and that has me playing Iowa in my college basketball picks.

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