NCAA Basketball Picks: Penn State vs. Michigan

Joe Freda

Thursday, March 14, 2013 11:45 AM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 14, 2013 11:45 AM UTC

Thursday afternoon’s hoops action has a pair of Big Ten Tournament matchups, including the No. 6 Michigan Wolvervines matched up with the Penn State Nittany Lions. Where do we think that the best NCAA Basketball betting value lies here?

Michigan carried out its share of sliding late in the season, with five SU losses as part of a 1-9 ATS mark in its last 10 games. Will the Wolverines pull through for backers tonight, or will the Nittany Lions keep it within the large margin?

Michigan Wolverines vs Penn State Nittany Lions 

Michigan went down to the final buzzer in Sunday’s 72-71 home loss to the Indiana Hoosiers, failing to collect as a 1 ½-point favorite. Wolverines guard Trey Burke drilled 5-of-8 buckets from three-point land en route to 20 points, while he and his mates were sizably outrebounded, 47-26.

Penn State cashed at 6-1 ATS in its final seven regular-season battles, including a 3-1 spread record in that stretch as a double-digit underdog. The Nittany Lions allowed 68.8 PPG in the span’s four contests away from home, while sophomore D.J. Newbill finished the season in the Big Ten’s top five for scoring (16.1 PPG) and assists (4.1 APG). 

The NCAA Basketball odds makers at opened Michigan as a 14 ½-point favorite for Thursday’s matchup, while first setting the ‘total’ at 133. February’s pair of meetings between these rivals saw Penn State cash at 2-0 ATS, with the OVER also collecting at a 2-0 clip.

I am taking the double digits here, looking for the Nittany Lions to get the money again. Michigan is 0-4 ATS in its last four spots that followed defeats, while Penn State has remained undervalued despite six of its last seven games decided by eight points or less.

Nittany Lions forward Ross Travis has grabbed 35 boards over his last four games, finishing as a top five rebounder (7.3 RPG) in the Big Ten. Look for Travis and Co. to pick up a hard fought cover here, while Michigan squeaks by into the next round.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Penn State Nittany Lions 14 ½ (

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