In one of the biggest college basketball clashes of the weekend, the Indiana Hoosiers (20-5, 10-2 in Big Ten) will travel to the State of Michigan on Sunday to take on the No. 8 Michigan State Spartans (20-5, 7-5), a Sunday afternoon NCAAB online betting showdown that is expected to produce a lot of fireworks in East Lansing. Join us as we take you through enticing blockbuster matchup, complete with free NCAAB picks for your perusal and consideration.
Indiana Hoosiers vs Michigan State Spartans Expert Betting Pick
When: Sunday, February 14, 1:00 PM ET
Where: Jack Breslin Student Events Center, East Lansing, Michigan
Radio: Spartans Sports Network
Opening NCAAB Lines: TBA
Why Bet on Indiana
In their biggest test of the season, a clash against the No. 4 Iowa Hawkeyes, the Hoosiers showed the creamy stuff that is reserved for champions, delivering a statement 85-78 upset victory; a win that in fact came after they had taken (and blown) a commanding 16-point lead in the game. Indiana’s lethal offense, averaging 84.1 PPG (10th-best in the nation) and 16.4 APG (25th-best in the nation), was in full showcase against Iowa, balancing deep and close-range shooting to outclass the Hawkeyes in meticulous fashion, of course led by Player of the Year candidate Yogi Ferrell. Meanwhile, Indiana’s backups were equally up to the task, contributing 24 points compared to the zero points posted by Iowa’s backups.
Playing at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center will be an entirely different thing together, given the Spartans have lost just one home game all season, and that was in fact a lucky 72-71 win by Nebraska that could have ended up in a Sparty win had Michigan State not missed a couple of key shots down the stretch. Even so, Indiana has a pretty nice résumé, boasting of a decent number of marquee wins, which should be a big motivation for them to strive for a winning performance this Sunday.
Why Bet on Michigan State
While the Hoosiers have been pretty solid offensively, their defense has struggled, especially in Big Ten play. On the season the Hoosiers are allowing 68.8 PPG (ranked 109th in the nation). This leaky defense opens an opportunity for Sparty’s Player of the Year candidate and triple-double machine Denzel Valentine to get some solid production, along with his trustworthy teammates. Though Sparty is averaging 79.5 PPG (which is a bit low compared to Indiana’s average), the home-playing Michigan State is dishing out an NCAAB-best 20.4 assists per game. This ability to spread the ball around the court could prove very pivotal down the stretch, especially in instances that Sparty’s star players don’t have enough space to shoot.
Another big advantage for Michigan State is that the team is giving up just 63.6 PPG (15th-best in the nation), a defense that is guaranteed to cause fits to Ferrell and Co. Suffering the 82-81 road defeat to Purdue on Tuesday night was a big blow to the Spartans’ Big Ten title credentials and horrifying exposure to Sparty’s not-so-good-looking defensive underbelly, but if you’ve watched Michigan State this season, you would agree with me that the Spartans are never easy to beat, particularly when they are playing at home.
Indiana at Michigan State NCAAB Odds Predictions and Picks
Truth as it is that this clash will be decided by several factors, the bottom line is that the game is highly likely to come down to the star play of opposing guards Valentine and Ferrell. Defensively, both players aren’t as strong, so their offensive contribution will probably matter most. And as far as the season so far is concerned, Indiana’s assist and scoring leader Ferrell is averaging 17.1 PPG and 5.6 APG. Conversely, Valentine, who is also Sparty’s leader in assists and scoring, is averaging 19.0 PPG and 6.9 APG). The edge here is therefore on Valentine and Sparty. Then, of course, there is the fact that Sparty’s defense is way much better than Indiana’s, while the Hoosiers offense can go toe-to-toe with Indiana. Added to the fact that this game will be interestingly played on Valentine’s Day, I see the matchup ending up to be Valentine’s—pun intended—and not Ferrell’s.