Iowa at Michigan State Betting Preview, Selection, Odds

Game: Iowa at Michigan State (-8)

Sharp: Dave Miller

Selection: Iowa (+8)

Eighteenth-ranked Iowa travels to East Lansing on Tuesday night to take on No. 24 Michigan State at Breslin Center in the only regular-season meeting between the teams.

Michigan State (18-9, 10-6 Big Ten) scored a 21-point win over Nebraska in Lincoln last Thursday evening to temporarily put behind some of its struggles, but Tom Izzo's squad committed a season-high 22 turnovers. Cassius Winston led the way with 23 points, Xavier Tillman had 10 points and 11 rebounds, and reserves Gabe Brown (career-high 17 points and five 3-pointers) and Kyle Ahrens (season-high 14 points) were bright spots for a team seeking to play its best basketball as the calendar nears March.

Iowa (19-8, 10-6) also received a boost from its bench last Thursday night in its most recent game. Graduate transfer guard Bakari Evelyn matched his season high with 15 points, and forward Cordell Pemsl had nine points and eight rebounds to help Fran McCaffery and the Hawkeyes earn an 85-76 home win over Ohio State. Star big man Luka Garza added 24 points, and the Big Ten's leading scorer recorded his 12th consecutive game of 20 points or more in league play—the most by any conference player in the last 20 years.

In the win over the Buckeyes, the Hawkeyes were once again without injured guard CJ Fredrick, who missed his second consecutive game because of a right ankle injury. He is averaging 10.7 points per game and is second on the team with 42 3-pointers. McCaffery said during Monday's Big Ten coaches' teleconference that he's “a lot farther along than he was a couple of days ago,” so we'll see if he is able to take the court against Sparty.

Izzo's squad has won 13 of the last 15 meetings, dating back to 2011, and Iowa is 3-22 all-time at the Breslin Center. The Spartans have lacked a consistent third scoring option outside of reigning Big Ten Player of the Year Winston (18.3 points and 5.7 assists per game) and Tillman (13.6 points and 10.3 rebounds per contest), so Izzo is still looking for someone such as Brown, Aaron Henry or Rocket Watts to consistently step up.

Even in a tough environment, there is value in the Hawkeyes being 8-point underdogs because they lead the Big Ten in scoring offense (78.5 points per game). They should be able to connect on enough three-pointers with Connor McCaffery and Co. to keep them within that number.


Search Blogs