Michigan State vs. DePaul Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Michigan State is a 13.5-point favorite on the spread line. The over-under is set at 148 points. Tonight's game will be played at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon, and it is part of the inaugural PK80 Tournament.
The Spartans enter with a 2-1 overall record and 1-2 ATS after a 93-71 home win over Stoney Creek. DePaul is 1-2 overall and 1-2 ATS following a 82-73 loss at Illinois. The last time these two programs met was on Nov. 30, 2003, when host Michigan State topped the Blue Demons by a count of 89-81.
Through three games, Michigan State has been led by Miles Bridges with a 19.7 points per game average along with 7.0 rebounds and 2.7 blocks. Bridges in unlikely to suit up tonight with a sprained ankle. Nick Ward is averaging 19 points and 6.0 rebounds per, while Joshua Langford is compiling 13.7 points and 1.3 steals. In the victory over Stoney Creek, Ward tallied 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead the way. Bridges accounted for 20 points and six boards before spraining his ankle. Langford added 19 points, five assists and three rebounds. The Spartans outscored the visitors 49-33 in the second half to put it away.
DePaul is paced by Max Strus with averages of 13.7 points and 5.0 rebounds. Eli Cain is putting in 11.0 points and 5.3 rebounds, while Tre'Darius McCallum averages 10.3 points and 5.3 boards. Justin Roberts registered 19 points, five rebounds and five assists off the bench in the loss to Illinois. Strus contributed 15 points and five boards. Marin Maric added 12 points and five rebounds. The Blue Demons trailed 39-32 at halftime.
The under is 7-1 in the last eight Michigan State games versus Big East opponents. DePaul is 2-8 in its last 10 Thursday games.
The Spartans get to prove they are much more than a one-man operation with Bridges unlikely to play. Ward and Langford have started the season off nicely and their usages rates will skyrocket with their counterpart out of the lineup. DePaul hasn't been very good in many years and while it might be slightly improved this season, that won't be enough to hang with Michigan State. Expect the Spartans to roll here.
CBB DAILY PREDICTION: MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS -13.5