NCAA Basketball Pick: Spartans over Badgers in Big Ten Final

LT Profits Sports Group

Sunday, March 15, 2015 2:27 PM UTC

Sunday, Mar. 15, 2015 2:27 PM UTC

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Sunday.

A potential one-seed in the NCAA Tournament should have its hands full Sunday in the Big Ten Championship Game when the third seeded Michigan State Spartans (23-10, 11-6 away/neutral) take on those top seeded Wisconsin Badgers (30-3, 15-2 away/neutral) at the United Center in Chicago, IL at 3:30 ET in a game televised nationally on CBS.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Michigan State as a decided underdog for this contest with the current line at +7 with odds of -106.

Izzo Perfect in Big Ten Championship Games
We must be in the month of March because Coach Tom Izzo has Michigan State peaking at the perfect time of the year, just like he usually does! In fact, Izzo has guided the Spartans to four Big Ten Championship Games and he is a perfect 4-0 straight up despite being the lower seed several times. Such was the case last season when third seeded Michigan State throttled top seeded Michigan 69-55 in this contest.

So this is familiar territory for Izzo and the Spartans as they take on another top seed in Wisconsin, who are now at 30-3, thanks to being the winning NCAA Basketball picks the last five games since a road loss at second seeded Maryland, coincidentally the same Maryland team that Michigan State beat yesterday to get to this point. Meanwhile the Badgers used a huge second half to topple Purdue 71-51 after trailing at halftime in their semifinal yesterday.

Sparty Battled Wisconsin Tough in Madison
Many people considered Michigan State a disappointment during there regular season at 21-10 while going 17-14 ATS, but we have seen this movie before with Izzo’s teams getting better as the season goes on so we simply feel that an early non-conference home loss to Texas Southern loses relevance at this stage of the year, even if it does possibly still hurt the Spartans’ seeding in the NCAA Tournament, along with the other nine losses of course.

But to give you an idea of how much Sparty is improving, it lost twice to Maryland during the regular season before getting its double-revenge 62-58 yesterday. Now Michigan State gets another chance for revenge, although this time it only faced its opponent once this season.

And it was a very encouraging effort in defeat as the Spartans went into Madison, where the Badgers are usually untouchable, and covered the point spread in a 68-61 loss two short weeks ago on March 1st. And that remain the last loss for Michigan State, which followed up that game effort with wins over Purdue at home and Indiana on the road to end the regular season, and then a 76-67 win over Ohio State in the quarterfinals of this tournament before beating Maryland.

Badgers Probably Playing for a One-Seed
Now this is certainly not an easy task, especially after watching the Badgers’ 41-16 second half vs. the Boilermakers Saturday after trailing by five points at the half! In fact Wisconsin seems to be the popular choice to be the team with the best chance to beat undefeated Kentucky, and a win here should all but lock up a one-seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Still, even with a great coach of their own in Madison in Bo Ryan, you can never count out Izzo at this time of year and the Spartans appear to have improved even more since the narrow seven-point loss in Wisconsin. That happens to be the point spread for this game except this time on a neutral court in Chicago, which does seem to give the Spartans value at this number.

Besides, as great as Wisconsin has been on the court this season, the Badgers a are a very human 17-15-1 ATS and seven points seems like a lot for an Izzo team to work with in this spot.

Michigan State ATS Dominance Head-to-Head
Finally, never forget that the cover in Madison two weeks ago now leaves Michigan State a perfect 8-0 ATS in the last eight meetings between these schools with the same two great coaches on the sidelines!

You can never rule out an outright upset in this spot, but our recommendation is to take the seemingly generous points with Michigan State vs. Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship on Sunday.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":, "sportsbooksIds":[19,43,227,1096,999996,93,238,123,139], "LineTypeId":5, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

NCAA Basketball Pick: Michigan State +7 (-106)

comment here