It was a big day in East Lansing ahead of the February 15th Maryland at Michigan State free pick with ESPN’s College Gameday on campus. As a result, the #25 Spartans are a lofty -6.5 home favorite on Saturday when they host #9 Maryland. MSU won in East Lansing 69-55 last season and has won three straight overall in the series.
64% of the public likes the points in this one and it’s tempting as Maryland is one of the best teams in the country this season, having also rattled off 7 wins in a row. The Terrapins are just 3-4 on the road this season though, coming into the Breslin Center where Michigan State is 10-2.
Maryland Up to the Task on the Road?
The Terrapins will be looking for their 8th win in a row when they visit East Lansing in the February 15th Maryland at Michigan State free pick. Mark Turgeon’s team is definitely guilty of looking ahead their last game, struggling in a 72-70 home win over Nebraska on Tuesday as -18 point favorites.
Other than the squeaking out a win vs. the Cornhuskers, it’s been mostly domination for 20-4 Maryland this season. The Terrapins are atop the Big Ten at 10-3 but their three defeats have all been in tough road tilts this year. Those include a 69-76 loss at Penn State (+1.5), 49-67 at Iowa (-1.5), and 54-56 at Wisconsin (+2). Maryland’s conference road wins have come at Northwestern, at Indiana, and at Illinois.
Despite some struggles here and there on the road, Maryland can still keep this one within 6.5 points can’t they? Michigan State has a very dynamic duo, but so do the Terrapins in Anthony Cowan, Jr. and the emerging Jalen Smith. Cowan has 18+ points in 3 of the last 5 and Smith has put up 25, 29, and 11 points in his last three road games. It’s Maryland’s #25 scoring defense that will have the true test on Saturday though.
Michigan State on a Mission
The Spartans were able to snap a 3-game losing streak on Tuesday, fending off an Illinois comeback bid with a 70-69 victory in Champaign. Rocket Watts went for 21 in that game while Xavier Tillman had 17 points and 11 boards including a putback dunk that gave Michigan State the lead with under 10 seconds left.
The Spartans were up by 20 points at one point in the game vs. Illinois, but also allowed the Fighting Illini to come all the way back. Prior to that, the Spartans fell 68-77 at Michigan, 70-75 at home vs. Penn State, and 63-64 at Wisconsin. Some tough losses to decent teams, but Maryland is also better than decent.
February 15th Maryland at Michigan State Free Pick
The line of MSU -6.5 just seems a bit on the high side for this one in a matchup of ranked teams. Maryland has the type of defense that can travel in the one although the O/U is up there at 138. The Spartans are solid at home overall, but did just lose to Penn State at home and was beaten by 13 at the Breslin Center by Duke in early December. Gotta like the points here.
Pick: Maryland Terrapins +6.5