Michigan State vs. Rutgers: Spartans Our Sharp NCAA Basketball Pick

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 1:11 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2016 1:11 PM UTC

Denzel Valentine and the 2nd-ranked Michigan State Spartans head to the Louis Brown Athletic Center in Piscataway, New Jersey on Wednesday night to face Rutgers. Free NCAAB pick inside.

#2 Michigan State vs. Rutgers
The last place team in the Big Ten Conference, Rutgers (6-23, 0-16 Big Ten) welcome Denzel Valentine and now #2-ranked (AP) Michigan State (24-5, 11-5 Big Ten) to the Louis Brown Athletic Center in Piscataway, New Jersey on Wednesday night for this meeting which looks to be a blowout. NCAA basketball odds makers have opened up visitors Michigan State as monster 24-point (Bookmaker) Road favorites here with the Total (Points) for this game opening up at 150½ (Over -125, Bookmaker).


Michigan State Spartans
Did you know that Michigan State (19-9-0 ATS, 10-3 ATS on Road) has covered its L9 games in a row? Now you do. And the Spartans and long-time Head Coach Tom Izzo are peaking at about the same time they do every season and again look like the cream of the crop in this conference this season despite the success #12 Indiana, #14 Maryland, #15 Purdue and #17 Iowa have shown. Heading in here, Michigan State (79.8 AF-63.3 AA) has W8 of its L9 games SU and laying 28 seems like a scary proposition until you think remember that Sparty has W9 straight ATS and that they won by 34 points in the first meeting in East Lansing a little more than a month ago. In their last game, Michigan State defeated Penn State at Home on Sunday, 88-57, covering the 17½-point spread by 13½ (Total 137½, Over) as leader and future NBA player Valentine (19 points), F Deyonta Davis (15 points), Bryn Forbes (15 points) and F Matt Costello (10 points, 11 rebounds) were all in double-digits in the romp while the Spartans Bench added 23 points from 6 different players. Valentine and Forbes were a combined 8-for-15 from 3-point range for Michigan State (-150 to win NCAA Big Ten Tournament, Ladbrokes). Spartans F Kenny Goins (Knee) is listed as Out until mid-March.


Rutgers Scarlet Knights
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights (9-15 ATS, 6-5 ATS Home) are still looking for that first Big Ten Conference Win this Regular Season and even your dog could tell you that they have absolutely no chance in this one. In their last game—their 16th straight SU Loss—Rutgers (3-7 ATS L10) fell to Northwestern in Evanston on Saturday as only Greg Lewis (19 points) and Omari Grier (11 points) were able to muster double-digit scoring and the Scarlet Knights—who were 16-for-47 (34.0%) from the Field—only got 31 points from all of their other players, including 9 points from DeShawn Freeman and 8 points apiece from starters Mike Williams and Justin Goode. The Scarlet Knights Rutgers (67.3 AF-80.4 AA) come in here with some serious Injury issues with F’s Greg Lewis (Foot) and Ibrahima Diallo (Foot) both listed as Questionable and F DeShawn Freeman (Suspension) Out and C Shaquille Doorson (Foot) both listed as being Out Indefinitely. But at least G Corey Sanders is probable, right? So, no Big Ten Wins yet, a beat-up squad and facing the best team in the Conference that already mauled you by 34. Best duck and cover.


Recent Series Trends in a 2-Game Lifetime Series and Best Betting Approaches
Because Rutgers recently (2014) moved from the Big East Conference to the Big Ten, these two schools don’t have a long history of playing each other, and, in fact, have met just twice, with Sparty blowing out the Scarlet Knights by 20 and 34 points and covering ATS in both meetings. When these two met in January (Jan. 31) in East Lansing, host Michigan State won 96-62 and easily covered the 28-point spread (Total 143½, Over) while in the first meeting here in Piscataway last season (Jan. 29, 2015), the Spartans rolled 71-51, covering the 8½-point spread (Total 130, Under) by 11½ points. Michigan State has W4 in a row SU and 8 of its L9 with the Spartans outscoring teams by over 21 points per game in that span and their only Loss coming at West Lafayette to (then) #18 Purdue by 1 point in OT on Feb. 9 (PURD -3, 143½, Over). And in those L10 games, that meeting with the Boilermakers was the only time the Spartans were outrebounded (39-37). The Over is 7-3 ATS in those L10 Michigan State games.

Trend-wise, the Spartans are 9-0 ATS in their L9 games against the Big Ten Conference, but then again only playing Conference games at this point in the season and being 9-0 ATS in its L9 means the same thing. And it has also meant the same thing for Spartans backers at the sportsbook betting windows (Where Grown Men often leave their losing betting tickets despite the Brass-plated garbage can being only inches away): Mo money, mo money, mo money.

Rutgers is an anemic 6-23 ATS its L29 against the Big Ten Conference (20.7%) and the Scarlet Knights (6-5 ATS at Home) have been an Over team (16-8 ATS Over, 66.7%) so far this Regular Season and the Over is 7-1 ATS in the L8 Rutgers Home games at the Louis Brown Athletic Center as well as 15-2 ATS the L17 games overall (88.2%). It’s pretty obvious what to do here, but maybe the best look of the three picks offered up below in this handicap is in backing Michigan State in the 1st Half—Northwestern led Rutgers 48-18 at Halftime of the Scarlet Knights last game—as the visitors should be up around 20 (at least) at that point and the 1st Half Point Spread should be between 15 and 17 points and the guests will at least be playing really hard for those 20 minutes of basketball. Embrace Logic. Add Michigan State as the NCAA Basketball Pick today!

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Final Score Prediction: Michigan State 97  Rutgers 63
NCAA Basketball Picks: Michigan State -23, Over 149 & Michigan State 1st Half -13.5
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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