Iowa vs Michigan State Picks and Odds

Iowa center Luka Garza during a NCAA men's basketball game.

Iowa center Luka Garza during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Rutgers, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, in Iowa City, Iowa. Iowa won 79-66. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • The Iowa Hawkeyes (14-6, 8-5 Big 10) play the Michigan State Spartans (10-7, 4-7 Big 10) on Saturday, February 13th
  • Luka Garza and Iowa rebounded nicely after two tough losses by beating Rutgers 79-66 last time out 
  • See the odds, spread, analysis, and best bet below

The Iowa Hawkeyes will look to beat the Michigan State Spartans for the second time this month when they play on Saturday.

The Hawkeyes beat the Spartans 84-78 in Iowa City, Iowa on February 2nd. They have since lost two of three games but got back into the win column in their last game against Rutgers.

Michigan State had a slightly different experience after their loss to Iowa to begin the month. They’ve won two straight since the loss with the last one being a thrilling 60-58 win over the Penn State Nittany Lions.

The Spartans had been in control of this series recently winning five of the last six battles before the Hawkeyes stopped the bleeding at the beginning of the month . The current odds are showing Iowa as a 5.5 point favorite in this matchup.

#15 Iowa vs Michigan State Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Iowa Hawkeyes -5.5 (-110) -235 O 152.5 (-110)
Michigan State Spartans +5.5 (-110) +185 U 152.5 (-110)

Odds as of Feb 12th at FanDuel.

Iowa Needs To Finish Strong

The Hawkeyes have been near the top of the college basketball rankings all season and now need to finish strong. Dropping four of their last six games is not exactly doing that but they did get a much needed win over Rutgers last time out. More importantly, it wasn’t just Luka Garza causing havoc.

Iowa had two different players post 20-10 games which is what they will need moving forward. Obviously one was Luka Garza but the other was Joe Wieskamp with his third double-double of the season. Wieskamp has come on strong as of late going for at least 16 points in all but one of his last seven games. If the Hawkeyes can get this type of production from multiple players, they will be hard to beat in March.

Michigan State Can Do Damage

From January 8th until February 2nd, the Spartans either lost or had a game postponed due to Covid-19. They looked all but dead in the water but things are starting to look up after beating Nebraska and Penn State. In their last one against the Nittany Lions, they scored the last six points of the game to steal the win.

Despite their record, the Spartans have been a very good defensive team all season. They are 35th best in the nation in defensive efficiency (adjusted for opponent) and that defense held Penn State to a dismal 34% from the floor on Tuesday. They were able to hold the Nittany Lions scoreless in the last three minutes of the game which was the difference.

Best Betting Angle

The Hawkeyes are second in the nation in points per game averaging 87.4 points per contest. There is no doubt that they are lethal on that side of the ball. But their most recent two road games show they are vulnerable to good defense as well.

In their last two road games against Illinois and Indiana, the Hawkeyes averaged 71 points which is far below their season average. The pace of each game was slowed down and basically turned into a street fight. The strategy worked because Iowa lost both games.

If there is any team in the county that is built to win a street fight, it’s Tom Izzo’s bunch. They just held Penn State’s 25th best offense to 58 points last time out. No one will confuse Iowa with Penn State but it still speaks to the Spartans’ identity.

Michigan State shoots the three-ball at a 37.2% clip home while Iowa gives up a 36.6% rate on the road. If the Spartans can simply slow down the Hawkeyes offense, they could shoot their way into covering this inflated number at home.

The pick: Michigan State +5.5 (-110) 

John Hyslop



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