Illinois vs. Michigan State Pick
Can No. 2 Michigan State avoid another close call when the Spartans play host to Illinois tonight at 7PM ET?
According to oddsmakers at YouWager, Michigan State is the favorite in this game, as the Spartans are getting odds of -16 points against Illinois. The over/under total for the contest is listed at 146.5 points. Tonight’s game will take place from the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Michigan and will air live on ESPN.
Michigan State is coming off a 65-60 win at Northwestern on Saturday despite trailing by 27 points in the game. MSU has now won 10 straight, but they are 1-5-2 against the spread in their last eight. The Spartans are 26-3 overall, 14-2 in the Big Ten and 14-13-2 against the spread. MSU puts up 82.6 points per game on offense while allowing 64.8 per contest. The Spartans are being led by Miles Bridges, who is averaging 17 points and 6.9 rebounds per game while Nick Ward is averaging 13.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per contest.
Illinois is coming off a 72-66 win over Nebraska at home to snap a four-game losing streak. The Illini are now 13-15 overall, 3-12 in the Big Ten and 10-13-1 against the spread. Illinois is averaging 74.9 points per game on offense while allowing 72.9 per contest. Leron Black is leading the team with 15.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per contest while Trent Frazier is adding 12.3 points per contest.
Michigan State has won three of its last four meetings with Illinois, including an 87-74 win at Illinois on Jan. 22. The Spartans showed their good and bad against Northwestern. They were a mess in the first half in trailing by 27, but then dominated the second half while holding the Wildcats to 11 points. Can Michigan State find a way to bottle that half? We haven’t seen it much this season. I think the momentum of the win should help get MSU off to a fast start tonight against an Illinois team that is 0-9 on the road and 3-5-1 against the spread. The public betting is backing MSU tonight and I will take the Spartans minus the points as well.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL PREDICTIONS: MICHIGAN STATE -16