NCAA Basketball Picks: Michigan vs. Michigan State

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 2:39 PM GMT

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013 2:39 PM GMT

The Michigan State Spartans have had their way with the Michigan Wolverines at the Breslin Center, as the two teams prepare to meet Tuesday night in East Lansing.


Let’s take a closer look at the betting line for this Big Ten Conference matchup that tips off at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Bouncing back 

Michigan has alternated wins and losses over its last four games, as it comes off a 65-62 overtime setback to the Wisconsin Badgers as two-point road favorites, while going OVER the total for a third consecutive contest. The Wolverines will try to continue their streak of not losing back-to-back games over the last two regular seasons, while they’ve gone 37-18 against the spread (ATS) in their last 55 affairs after suffering a defeat.

Balanced scoring

Michigan State will put its three-game winning streak on the line, as it captured a 78-65 victory over the Purdue Boilermakers as four-point road favorites last time out, while going OVER the total for the third time in four contests. The Spartans have used a balanced approach offensively during Big Ten play, with five players averaging 9.5 points or more per game. 

Quite a backcourt

Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. make up one of the better backcourts in the country, as they’ve managed to average a combined 34.2 points through 24 games, which is a big reason why the Wolverines are scoring 77.0 points a game this year.

It’s important to note that in last year’s meeting at this venue, the pair was limited to 15 points on 5 of 21 shooting—leading to a disappointing 64-54 defeat as seven-point road underdogs. 

Breslin advantage

When looking over the NCAA Basketball odds boards, handicappers may have a hard time passing up an opportunity to play the Spartans as home underdogs in this spot, considering they’ve won 12 of the last 13 meetings at this facility. The home team has also covered the number in five of the last six games between these in-state rivals, while the UNDER is on a 6-1 run overall. 

Difficult stretch

The Wolverines are 4-0 SUATS off a close loss by three points or less to a conference rival, but they’ve also played back-to-back overtime games for the first time since 1999-2000. Michigan will now try to muster up enough energy to hand Tuesday night’s opponent its first loss on this floor, as Michigan State is 14-0 at home and has outscored opponents by an average of 17.2 points in that situation.

[gameodds]14/220459/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their NCAA basketball picks Tuesday night, as the OVER is 11-5 in the Wolverines last 16 conference games, while the Spartans have climbed above the number in seven of their last 11 opportunities in that situation.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 132 at Bookmaker

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