The Michigan State Spartans are enjoying their best one-loss start to a season in school history, as they prepare to face the Indiana Hoosiers for the second time in less than three weeks.
It’s clear that Indiana suffered a bit of a letdown in dropping a 54-47 decision to the Northwestern Wildcats as 13-point home favorites last Saturday, as it was coming off a massive victory over the Wisconsin Badgers.
The Hoosiers are fourth nationally in rebounding and third in differential in that all-important statistical category, which gives them an opportunity to avenge a 16-point home loss to the Spartans on Jan. 4.
Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 5-3 SUATS when revenging a loss at Assembly Hall, with the UNDER going 6-2 in that situation.
No Payne, only gain
Michigan State will likely play its fourth consecutive contest without the services of senior forward Adreian Payne, who continues to deal with foot issues, but it hasn’t caused much trouble in terms of results.
The Spartans are riding a 10-game win streak—made possible by allowing an average of just 60.1 points on 36.4 percent shooting over that span.
It’s important to point out that the program is 8-1 SU and 4-4 ATS at this venue during the 2013-14 campaign.
Trouble in East Lansing
College basketball handicappers may have an interest in backing the road underdog in this spot, but the Hoosiers have won just once in their last 18 trips to East Lansing.
Indiana will need a huge performance out of sophomore guard Kevin Ferrell, who is leading the Big Ten in scoring 19.2 points in league games.
The Spartans will cover this number if sophomore guard Gary Harris continues to play his best basketball against the Hoosiers, as he’s averaged 22 points in three career games in this series.
He ranks second in the conference in scoring and fourth in steals—averaging 18.3 points over his last eight affairs after missing three of the previous four with an injured ankle.
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Spartans in their NCAAB picks for tonight, as I’ve established a handicapper line favoring them by 13 points in this affair.
College Basketball Pick: Michigan State Spartans -12