NCAA Basketball Picks for Penn State vs. Michigan State

Jeff Grant

Thursday, February 6, 2014 4:17 PM GMT

Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 4:17 PM GMT

The Michigan State Spartans and Penn State Nittany Lions are both capable of knocking down shots from the perimeter, as they prepare to close out their regular season series Thursday.

Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA basketball odds for this Big Ten Conference matchup at the Breslin Center, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Check out our NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day for more free plays.

Streaking

Penn State currently owns the longest active win streak among Big Ten programs, as it picked up its third straight victory over the Purdue Boilermakers as two-point home favorites Sunday.

At 12-10, the Nittany Lions have matched the most wins under a Patrick Chambers-lead team at Penn State.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 1-11 SU and 8-4 ATS as road underdogs of 12.5 or more points.

Inconsistent

Michigan State has alternated wins and losses over its last four games, while longtime head coach Tom Izzo has sent out 12 different starting lineups during the 2013-14 campaign. 

The Spartans are expecting senior forward Adreian Payne to return to the floor after missing the last seven games with a foot injury, but they’ll still be without the services of junior Branden Dawson. 

Dawson scored a game-high 20 points in the squad’s 79-63 win over Penn State as 7.5-point road favorites in the first meeting on Dec. 31. 

Scoring is up

College basketball handicappers definitely need to take a look at the betting total in this affair, considering the Nittany Lions are averaging 75.2 points per game—a number that would be their highest since 2000-01 if the season ended today.

Penn State has three players averaging in double figures, with junior guard D.J. Newbill leading the way at 17.6 points a contest. 

Series dominance 

The Spartans will likely improve to 20-3 SU on the season, as they’ve won all 21 games as home favorites of 12.5 or more points since the 2011-12 campaign.

Michigan State has also captured 19 of 20 games against Penn State when facing off in East Lansing.

[gameodds]14/256952/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their NCAA basketball picks, as the OVER is 5-0 in the last five meetings at this venue.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Over 142

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