Michigan State Spartans
(12-6, 6-11 ATS)
(16-3, 10-6 ATS)
The Michigan State Spartans are set to go into battle once again in Big Ten action on Saturday, as they head to West Lafayette, where they will be duking it out to beat the college basketball odds against the Purdue Boilermakers.
Playing on the road has been very, very difficult all season long for the Spartans, as they are only 2-2 ATS there and have just one win to show for their work in Big Ten play this season. This is certainly a significantly more difficult road date than the one that was lost against the Penn State Nittany Lions back on January 8th, and is probably comparable with the 71-62 loss at Assembly Hall against the Illinois Fighting Illini earlier this week. Without a doubt though, this is something that has to change, or Michigan State will be a team with 12 or 13 defeats this year that might struggle to get into the NCAA Tournament. It’s high time that the stars of this team really shine, as getting just 14.7 points per game from Kalin Lucas and 14.1 points per game from Durrell Summers just isn’t going to cut it when the lights start to shine in the biggest games of the year like this one. Averaging 72.4 points per game just isn’t going to be enough production, especially on the road, but the biggest concern for Head Coach Tom Izzo might be defense, a unit which is allowing 65.9 points per game.
Purdue is very, very lucky to not be on a three game losing streak right now, as it just barely escaped the Penn State Nittany Lions on Wednesday night in a 63-62 victory. This is the start of a very, very rough stretch of games coming up, as Michigan State starts a four game stretch against arguably the best teams that the Big Ten has to offer. Unlike Michigan State, the Boilermakers really don’t struggle holding teams down defensively. They are allowing just 58.5 points per game, one of the best marks in the Big Ten and No. 11 in the country. Offensively, there are some struggles at times though, as JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore really can’t do it by themselves. Johnson is one of the rare scorers in the land that is putting up over 20 points per game this year, while Moore is at 17.6 points per game. Beyond that though, there isn’t a player that is putting up more than 7.0 points per game, and John Hart and Ryne Smith have been literally MIA in recent weeks. Someone needs to step up in this one, or the Boilers are going to be outclassed.
Neither one of these teams are really in fine form right now, but we tend to believe that the Boilermakers are ready to come out of their shell and get back in the win column. They were probably just looking ahead to this stretch of tough games in that narrow escape from the Nittany Lions, and this should be a great rebound.
College Basketball Free Pick: Purdue Boilermakers