The Minnesota Golden Gophers and Michigan State Spartans have been known for playing some defensive battles in the past in East Lansing, as they prepare to meet at the Breslin Center Wednesday night.
Let’s take a closer look at the betting line for this Big Ten Conference affair.
Back on track
Minnesota has won two in a row since suffering a four-game losing streak, as it comes off a 62-59 victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes as 10-point home favorites last Sunday, while going UNDER the total for the third time in four contests. The Golden Gophers have tallied a 6-3 against-the-spread (ATS) record in conference play, while falling short of the betting total in five of those affairs.
This is Sparta!
Michigan State will play its first game in the month of February, as it was last seen capturing a hard-fought 80-75 win over the Illinois Fighting Illini as 8.5-point home favorites on Jan. 31. The Spartans have won all 13 of their games at this venue, while they’ve amassed a dominating 126-21 home record in conference play under head coach Tom Izzo.
Been a long time
There’s no doubt that the Golden Gophers are going to receive some action as road underdogs in this matchup, considering they’ve covered 11 of their last 12 games away from home. It’s important to note that Minnesota hasn’t swept a season series against Michigan State since 1996-97, as it looks to snap a 13-game losing streak on this floor.
One of the main reasons that I like the UNDER when looking over the college basketball odds page is the fact that both of these teams are allowing opponents to shoot less than 40 percent from the field this year. Seven of the last eight meetings at this facility have fallen short of the number, which includes a 68-52 home victory by the Spartans with a posted total of 135 during the 2011-12 campaign.
Pounding the glass
The Golden Gophers are one of the better rebounding teams in college basketball, especially on the offensive glass, but I feel the Spartans will rise to the occasion of limiting their second-chance opportunities. Minnesota won the rebounding battle by 14 in the first meeting, which was likely a point of emphasis for Izzo in practice the last few days.
I’m expecting a big defensive effort by the Spartans after allowing 75 points in each of their last two games, while the Golden Gophers have been controlled on the offensive end on the road during some of the better defensive teams in the conference. The UNDER moves to 10-2 in the last 12 meetings in this series.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 131 at Pinnacle