Tip-off is scheduled for Saturday ,2:00 pm ET at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana. This game can be seen on CBS television.
This is the perfect warm-up to the NFL wild card weekend.
The NCAAB odds are right on the money with this matchup as the Spartans are a slight 3.5 point betting favorite on the road.
Inter-conference play separates the contenders from the pretenders and a win here would look good on each of these teams resumes.
The Schedule Gets More Difficult From Here
The Hoosiers are finding that out first hand as they’re coming off of a tough 83-80 loss to Illinois in overtime to open up Big-Ten play. The pressure is definitely more on Indiana in this game than it is Michigan State. The Hoosiers have yet to beat a top 25 team while the Spartans opened up the season beating Kentucky.
Against the Fighting Illini, the Hoosiers committed 23 turnovers and shot 41.1% from the field, yet still managed to take the Illini to an overtime session and down to the wire. If the shots are dropping, Indiana might prove to be a lethal team in the Big-Ten as a win over Michigan State would have them knocking on the door for a spot in the AP Top 25.
A Top 25 Offense
Offense is certainly not one of the Hoosier’s weaknesses. They rank 4th in rebounding in the nation, sparked by Noah Vonleh (9.5 rebounds per game) and 27th in points scored. This is a team with a major upside with the youth that it brings. Vonleh is just 18 years old and leading scorer, Yogi Ferrell, is just a sophomore.
Ferrell is a native Indiana sharpshooter (44.4% from 3-point range) that has been on fire as of late. He’s averaging 27.5 points per game in his last 2 games on 17 of 27 from the field and 8 of 14 from 3 point- territory and it couldn’t come at a better time as Indiana faces their toughest opponent to date. This is a player that’s the complete package and look for a big game out of Ferrell as he looks to showcase his skills in front of a national audience and a rowdy Assembly Hall.
Nothing To Prove
With wins over Kentucky, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, and Texas in their back pocket, the Michigan State Spartans have very little to prove and will be in the NCAA Tournament picture near the end when all is said and done. The Spartans have the edge in experience over the Hoosiers with seniors Adreian Payne (17 points, 8.1 rebounds), Keith Appling (15.8 points, 4.8 assists, and 3.5 rebounds), and leading scorer Gary Harris. This is a team that’s deep in talent and should be ill-affected by a hostile crowd as they’ve experienced this type of environment many times throughout their careers.
Head To Head Trends
The home team is 16-5 ATS in their last 21 meetings.
Spartans are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 meetings in Indiana.
I like Indiana for my NCAA basketball pick in this spot and agree with the trends. Ferrell has been on fire as of late and home court advantage will play a role here. This should be a very close game and my money is on Indiana with the points.
Pick - Indiana +3.5 at Bet 365