Home Court Advantage Makes Loaded Michigan St. Our NCAA Basketball Pick Over Iowa

Charles Stark

Thursday, January 14, 2016 2:02 PM GMT

Michigan St. didn't have their best player on the floor when they traveled to Iowa, but tonight they will, and I like them for my NCAA basketball picks. Don't miss this preview.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Michigan State -8½
Best Line Offered: at Bet365

 

NCAA Basketball Odds Overview
NCAA basketball odds have Michigan state as a -7 favorite like at Pinnacle -106. This may seem like too many points to give a good team in Iowa, but for my NCAA basketball pick, I like the Spartans at home to take care of business. Actually, I think Michigan State is that much better than Iowa now that they are healthy despite the fact that this is a revenge game for them.

 

Iowa Hawkeyes
Iowa is averaging 81.4 points per game while shooting 46.8% from the field, and allowing 67.6 points per game on 40% shooting from the field. Against the spread the Hawkeyes have a winning 7-5 record overall and are 4-3 on the road. Head coach Fran McCaffery has done an excellent job implementing his up-tempo style with Iowa, and they can be a tough matchup for a lot of teams in the country. They rank in the better part of all NCAA teams in points per game, overall shooting percentage, and three point shooting percentage at 39.9% per game which ranks 19th in the country. They have actually been good whether at home or on the road, however facing Michigan State for the second time will be a challenging task to put up points against a very good Spartan defense. On the other side of the ball defensively, although they do like to go up tempo, Iowa has been sufficient and rank in the better part of the country in opponent shooting efficiency and overall opponent shooting percentage from the field. The issue for them tonight though probably will be their facing a very efficient Michigan State team, and one of the better scoring teams that Tom Izzo has ever had. Iowa, because of their up-tempo, allow opponents 62.4 attempts per game which ranks in the very bottom part of all NCAA teams.

 

Michigan State Spartans
Michigan State is averaging 80.3 points per game while shooting 49.1% from the field, and allowing 61.1 points per game on 35.9% shooting from the field. Like Iowa, against the spread, Michigan State has a winning record of 10-6 overall and 5-2 at home. This could possibly be coach Izzo's best team he has ever had, and that is saying a lot. Offensively, they move the ball as well as anyone in the country averaging 21.1 assist per game which ranks first and their shooting percentage from the field ranks 15th. They have been pushing the tempo a little bit more than usual averaging 59.1 field goal attempts per game, but at the same time they been really efficient ranking 23rd in the country in shooting efficiency. As well, you know with the Tom Izzo team they're going to hit the boards really hard as they average 43.5 rebounds per game which ranks fifth in the country. Defensively, the Spartans are as good as ever ranking first in opponent field goal percentage, second in opponent shooting percentage and opponent shooting efficiency, and third in opponent three point shooting percentage. 

Odds makers might have thrown the revenge factor into this mix when making the line, but that is not what is driving me to back the Spartans.  I recommend that, for one of your NCAA picks on Thurday, you back them minus the points because they are loaded this year and are very tough at home. This team has all the makings of a national champion.

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