MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS (9-4)
at NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS (9-2)
Tip-off: Monday, 7:30 p.m. EDT
Line: Michigan State -1.5, Total: 142
Michigan State has had its way at Northwestern in recent seasons and hope the trend will continue when the two teams meet on Monday night. The Spartans have won six straight in Evanston by an average of 13.7 points, and each victory has been by double-figures. Odds.
The past two meetings have come in Northwestern’s conference home openers, a 77-66 Michigan State win two seasons ago and a 91-70 victory last season. Kalin Lucas (14.5 PPG, 41.9% three-point FG) was instrumental in those two triumphs at Northwestern, averaging 19.0 PPG and 6.5 APG. He scored 22.0 PPG in two home-and-away games against the Wildcats last season. Lucas, however, heads into Monday’s game struggling to find his shot. He’s scoring 12.3 PPG on 36.1% shooting (13-of-36) in his past three contests.
Michigan State defeated Minnesota in its Big Ten opener, 71-62, on Friday after rallying from a six-point halftime deficit. Durrell Summers (15.5 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 43.7% three-point FG) scored 19 points, his 12th game in double-figures, and Draymond Green (12.0 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 45.2% three-point FG) added 14 against the Golden Gophers. Summers scored 20.5 PPG and had 8.5 RPG in two games against Northwestern in 2009-10, while Green chipped in with 11.0 PPG and 8.0 RPG. Scores.
The Spartans also beat the Wildcats in East Lansing last January, 79-70. But they struggled to contain Northwestern star John Shurna, who had 30.0 PPG on 51.2% shooting in two games. Shurna leads the Big Ten in scoring with 22.2 PPG, but he only had 11 in an 82-69 loss at Purdue on Friday, possibly due to a sprained ankle he suffered against Mount St. Mary’s on Dec. 23. Shurna is shooting a blistering 61.8% on three-pointers and has grabbed 5.2 boards per game. Northwestern guard Michael Thompson (15.1 PPG, 4.5 APG), who’s second on the team in scoring, had a game-high 18 points against the Boilermakers. But Thompson wasn’t at his best versus Michigan State last season with only 7.5 PPG on 25.0% shooting.
Michigan State is 21-2 SU (13-10 ATS) in 23 meetings since 1997, including 9-1 SU (8-2 ATS) at Northwestern. Expect the Spartans to continue their success with another win in Evanston on Monday. This FoxSheets trend likes Michigan State to win and cover the spread.
MICHIGAN ST is 10-1 ATS (+8.9 Units) in road games versus teams who make 8 or more 3-point shots/game on the season over the last 3 seasons. The average score was MICHIGAN ST 77.5, OPPONENT 64.4 – (Rating = 2*).
Five of the past six meetings in Illinois have gone over the total and this FoxSheets four-star trend also expects the game to finish Over the total. Las Vegas odds.
NORTHWESTERN is 9-0 OVER (+9.0 Units) after 5 straight games committing 14 or less turnovers over the last 2 seasons. The average score was NORTHWESTERN 68.3, OPPONENT 69.6 – (Rating = 4*).