Michigan State vs. Michigan Line – College Basketball Doubleheader January 17

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Michigan State vs. Michigan Line – College Basketball Doubleheader January 17

Limited College Basketball tonight, January 17, 2012, but boy do we have two great games on tap.  First, the Michigan State vs. Michigan line opened at -2 in favor of the Spartans and has dropped to -1.  Check out the Gambling911.com website for my Arkansas vs. Kentucky betting preview as well.  You can bet this game at Sportsbook.com and be sure to claim up to $250 in FREE CASH (based on initial signup deposit). 

Sportsbook.com Line & Total:  Michigan State -1 & 132

Opening Line & Total: Spartans -2 & 133

The allegiance of Michigan natives will be put to the test when No. 9 Michigan State travels to Ann Arbor to take on No. 20 Michigan on Tuesday night. Michigan has struggled to find success in this series in years past, winning just six of the 24 meetings since 1997.   

This is a big game for the Wolverines, who have already lost two games in the Big Ten, while the Spartans have lost just one. The Wolverines are coming off one of those defeats, a 16-point SU and ATS loss to Iowa on the road. Michigan State is coming off an SU and ATS loss as well, at Northwestern, but had won 15 straight SU and four in a row ATS. Overall, the Spartans are 10-5 ATS this season and 4-1 (SU and ATS) on the road. They should be able to continue that dominance by bullying Michigan in the paint. The Spartans grab 40.7 RPG, good for ninth best in the nation, led by Draymond Green (15.8 PPG, 10.1 RPG) who at 6-foot-7 is one of the best rebounders in the country. The Wolverines pull in just 33.8 missed shots per game, ranking 231st in the nation, and have nobody who can compete with Green for boards. Evan Smotrycz leads them in rebounding, but pulls in just 6.3 RPG.

Green is the soul of the Spartans team, pacing the team in points, rebounds, blocks (1.2 BPG) and steals (1.5 SPG). Green (41% 3-pt FG), Brandon Wood (10.1 PPG, 38% on threes) and Keith Appling (12.9 PPG, 3.4 RPG) form the dangerous part of the Michigan State attack. This trio has come into its own since losing its first two games of the season to North Carolina and Duke. Although the Spartans do not have one dominant ball distributor, led by Appling with 3.8 APG, they are the 12th-best passing team in the country with 16.9 APG. Head coach Tom Izzo employs mostly an eight-man rotation, as the top eight players have each averaged at least 17.3 minutes per game.

Michigan is led by two elite scorers, Tim Hardaway Jr. (15.7 PPG) and Trey Burke (14.3 PPG). Hardaway Jr. was miserable in the team’s loss to Iowa, going just 2-of-13 from the field and 0-of-8 from long range. The 5-foot-11 freshman Burke leads the team in dishing the ball (4.9 APG) and has been consistently good, registering double-digit points in the team’s past 12 games. The duo needs to be constantly guarded from all parts of the court, with the threat to drive but also combining to make 3.2 three-pointers per game. Still, this game is a lost cause for the Wolverines if they do not put up a fight on the boards, something out of Hardaway Jr. and Burke’s hands. Smotryz and Jordan Morgan (5.7 RPG) need to be in top form to physically challenge Green and the other MSU big men to make this a game.    

  • Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter


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