NCAA Basketball Picks: Take Michigan St. To Pull Up A Valentine's Day Home Win Over Indiana

Kevin Stott

Sunday, February 14, 2016 1:01 PM UTC

Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016 1:01 PM UTC

Let’s put the patient on the operating table, phone the surgeon and open this game up to see if Indiana can hang vs. Michigan St., and come up with a worthy NCAA basketball pick.

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Final Score Prediction: Michigan State 77 Indiana 66
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Michigan State -7
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker


Yogi Ferrell and Indiana head to East Lansing and the Breslin Center on Sunday afternoon to face stud Denzel Valentine and 8th-ranked Michigan State—on appropriately enough, Valentine’s Day—in an intriguing Big Ten battle in which the Hoosiers will be seeking their 15th win in their L17 games. But with Sparty in a foul mood no doubt after losing to Indiana’s Hoosier State rivals and #18 Purdue in West Lafayette in OT on Tuesday night, is backing host Michigan State the logical call? 


Odds Overview
Indiana at #8 Michigan State: Yogi Ferrell and Indiana (20-5, 10-2 Big Ten) head to East Lansing and the Breslin Center on Sunday to face Denzel Valentine and #8 Michigan State (20-5, 7-5 Big Ten) in a Big Ten Conference showdown from the Great Lakes State. NCAA basketball odds boards Offshore have opened up with host Michigan State as solid 7-point (Bookmaker) favorites here with the Total (Points) for this game set at 151½ (Bookmaker).


Indiana Hoosiers
Indiana (13-12 ATS, 2-5 ATS Road) and 8th-year Head Coach Tom Crean had W12 straight games before running into Wisconsin in Madison on Jan. 16 (L 82-79 OT) after the Hoosiers got off to their best conference start in 24 years (7-0) and spent a couple of weeks in the AP Top 25. Indiana has also lost at Penn State (68-63) in a game which may reflect the true nature of this team although winning at State College is never a foregone conclusion. In its last game, Indiana (40/1 to win NCAA Championship, Coral) knocked off #4 Iowa, 85-78 at Assembly Hall in Bloomington on Thursday night as the Hoosiers rallied to defeat the Hawkeyes late in the 2nd Half after blowing a 16-point lead as Senior G Yogi Ferrell (14 points) helped aid a 14-2 Indiana run by going a perfect 8-for-8 from the Free Throw line against Iowa. With the win and Point Spread cover—Iowa was a 3½-point favorite (Total 151½)—the Hoosiers moved into a tie atop the Big Ten Conference with Iowa and #2 Maryland heading into the weekend. Four other Indiana players finished in double-figures in the win including Tony Williams (13 points, 7 rebounds) and Robert Johnson (13 points, 4 rebounds). One important thing for handicappers to think about here is that Indiana is just 2-5 ATS on the Road heading in here and even with electric spark-plug Ferrell (5.6 apg) and Williams (6.4 rpg), pulling off the upset here in East Lansing will be a tall task for the Hoosiers (7-3 ATS L10 Sunday games) who catch the Spartans at the wrong place—at Home at the Breslin Center—and at the wrong time—after losing to Purdue in OT in their last outing. Injury-wise for Indiana, G’s James Blackmon Jr. (Knee) and Josh Newkirk (Eligibility) have both been Out for the Season, tough losses no matter how well the Crimson and Cream have done.


Michigan State Spartans
Michigan State (15-9-0 ATS, 7-4-0 ATS at Home) and legendary Head Coach Tom Izzo lost at #18 Purdue on Tuesday night in OT in their last game as Sparty shot just 38.2% from the Field (29-70) and suffered the setback despite G Denzel Valentine’s (19.0 ppg, 6.9 rpg) 27-point, 8-rebound and 10-assist performance in West Lafayette. Michigan State F Matt Costello was the only other Spartans starter in double-digits (11 points) while G Matt McQuaid added 10 points and F Kenny Goins 9 points from the MSU Bench. Here against Indiana, expect Izzo to have his group focused from the start and inspired after the tough Loss to the Boilermakers. and with the game being nationally televised on the Eye Network—CBS—expect the Home Breslin Center crowd to be in full throat and a double-digit by the hosts is a distinct possibility here. Valentine, Costello (8.2 rpg), starting F Devonta Davis and starting G’s Eron Harris (1-8 FG vs. Purdue, 3 points) and Bryn Forbes (3-11, 7 points) should do better than their combined 4-for-19, 10-point performance against Purdue. Why, I had 10 points on just 13 shots against the Cat last night in a not-so-friendly game of Nerf Hoop so there are no excuses, fellas. Snap out of it. Injury-wise for #8 Michigan State  (18/1 to win NCAA Championship, Paddy Power) and Coach H-to-the-Izzo, G Lourawls Nairn Jr. (Foot) is Out Indefinitely.


Recent Series Trends & Best Betting Approaches
In the L10 meetings in this series, Michigan State is 6-4 ATS and the Spartans have gotten the money in 3 of the L4 meetings. The Total is 5-5 (O/U) in those L10 meetings with the Under hitting 3 of the L4 while the Under is 6-2 ATS in the L8 Michigan State Home games. The last meeting between these two legendary Big Ten schools saw the Spartans top Ferrell and the Hoosiers at Assembly Hall in Bloomington in March last season, 74-72, and barely cover (by ½) as 2-point favorites (Total 143, O) while the last meeting between these two here in the Wolverine State was last season (Jan. 5) and saw the Spartans win big, 70-50, and cover as 8-point chalks (Total 143½, U). The Spartans have W4 SU against Indiana and are 7-3 SU over the L10 meetings but trying to back Michigan State on the Money Line will likely end up being too pricey when that number comes out and using Sparty on the Money Line with elements like Evansville on the Money Line (over Loyola-Chicago), Kobe Bryant and the West All-Stars in the NBA All-Star Game on the Money Line (-210, 5Dimes) and/or maybe the New York Rangers (-173, Pinnacle, vs. Flyers) may be a decent approach. Michigan State (79.5 AF-63.6 AA) is 11-5 ATS the L16 games here at the Breslin Center in East Lansing and should win by 5 or more as Indiana (84.1 AF-68.8 AA) have been suspect on the Road. With Valentine and Costello for Michigan State and Ferrell and Williams for Indiana, this should be an entertaining game, but the host Spartans should pull away in the last 10 minutes and win comfortably.

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