Minnesota at Michigan State Picks and NCAA Basketball Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 2/6/2013
There is no such thing as an easy game in the Big Ten right now. These teams certainly aren’t going to have one here. These squads played the last game of 2012 in the Big Ten, and Minnesota won convincingly — 76-63 That was their first win against the Spartans in the regular season since 2006. Michigan State is a better team now than they were then, though, and they are at home. They will be hungry for revenge. They will be also ne anxious to maintain their momentum — their only loss in the last eight was a strong effort at Indiana.
With a loss Minnesota would drop to 5-5 in the conference. Their loss at Northwestern was terrible, but beyond that they have just lost to better teams. They need to win a big one at some point along the way to prove that they belong among the elite in this ridiculously deep conference.
Minnesota at Michigan State Betting storylines
Heading into the season this year there were real questions about how Minnesota star Trevor Mbakwe’s knee would hold up after major knee surgery last year. It turns out he’s going to be just fine. In fact, he has been among the very best in the league — and that’s saying something. He leads the Big Ten in rebounds, is second in blocks, and Top 5 in shooting percentage. His presence is the biggest reason why this team is so good in the paint — they are Top 10 in the nation in rebounding margin and blocked shots. When Minnesota beat Michigan State, Mbakwe was very good — his points, rebounds, blocks and assists were all above his season averages. The Spartans need to find a better answer for the big man if they want to come out on top here.
The Michigan State backcourt has been hit hard by injuries, and that could be a concern here. Gary Harris suffered back spasms against Illinois on Saturday. He’s expected to go at this point, but neither his availability nor effectiveness is certain. The freshman is second on the team in both scoring and minutes played, so his status is important to keep an eye on here. Travis Trice, the backup point guard, will miss this game with a concussion. He plays 20 minutes a game and is quietly effective. The team has no shortage of good guards, so his loss isn’t fatal, but they are a better team with him in the rotation.
The Spartans their home field is the 13th man. In East Lansing the Breslin Center is the sixth Spartan. This is a good team wherever they play, but they are just plain special here. They have won all 12 of their games at home this year and have only lost once in their last 31. When you consider the quality of opposition they have faced at home the last couple of years in conference play, that’s remarkable — and a major edge. At home against Illinois on Saturday they got into a big hole in the first half but found another gear when it mattered to come out on top. The problem here, though, is that the only thing they aren’t any good at is covering spreads at home. They are just 3-6-1 ATS in Breslin and are just 0-2-1 ATS in their last three.
Minnesota at Michigan State NCAA Basketball Odds and Betting Trends
Minnesota is a stellar 11-1 ATS in their last 12 on the road. They are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 against the Big Ten. Nine of the last 11 meetings between these squads have gone “under,” and so have seven of the last eight meetings in East Lansing.
Minnesota at Michigan State Picks and Betting Predictions
I really want to like the Gophers here, but I just can’t. They have lost their last three road games, and this is the second-best team they have played on the road in conference play. They have a health edge, but the depth of the Spartans should be enough here. The Spartans won’t run away with this one, but they should be able to cover this spread late.
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