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College Basketball Pick: #19 Iowa vs #6 Michigan State

Top-25 Big Ten Matchup in Iowa City

The #6 Michigan State Spartans (17-2 Overall, 8-0 Big Ten) visit the #19 Iowa Hawkeyes (16-3 Overall, 5-3 Big Ten) in a game that has the first-place Spartans defending their perfect conference record. Our NCAAM Hawkeyes versus Spartans pick has Michigan State at -5.0. The game will be played at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City at 7:00 pm ET.

The visiting Spartans have not yet lost a Big Ten game, but they’re on an 11-game winning streak. That streak including a 90-68 victory over #18 Iowa on December 3. Other big wins include 86-77 against Ohio State, and, in their last game on January 21 a 69-55 taking down of #13 Maryland. This Spartan team is on a roll.

Although Iowa has three conference losses, they have been hot as of late, running off five Big Ten victories in a row. Included in that list of five is a 93-84 win over #24 Nebraska and a 72-62 victory over #16 Ohio State. Earlier in the season, the Hawkeyes beat #13 Oregon 77-69 and lost to #22 Wisconsin 72-66. The team’s last loss was on January 3 to Purdue 86-70.

Defense and Rebounding

Our Hawkeyes versus Spartans pick notes that although these teams are close when it comes to scoring stats, there are two areas where MSU excels. The first is on defense. The Spartans are allowing 66.1 PPG, while the Hawkeyes are giving up 72.2 PG. Michigan State is +2 on BPG. These statistics certainly indicate that the Spartans have an advantage.

A major factor in this game will likely be rebounds per game. MSU is averaging 45.3 RPG, while UI is at 36.6 RPG. The Spartans have a solid advantage in offensive rebounding, as they’ve been good for 11.8 ORPG while the Hawkeyes have been grabbing 9.9 ORPG. At +2 in ORBs, the Spartans could realize four to six more points in this game, plus, as they’re averaging nearly nine more rebounds a game overall, the Spartans could generate an average of 22 more points than Iowa.

Edge: Michigan State

Hawkeyes Versus Spartans Pick – Trends

In their last 10 games, MSU has beat the spread nine times. The Hawkeyes have been good ATS in their last 7-of-10. As the underdog, Iowa is 5-3 and as the home dog 2-1. When it comes to being the favorite versus the spread, the Spartans are 15-3, and away, and they are 5-1.

Edge: Michigan State

Five Key Players

  1. MSU’s junior forward Cassius Winston, with 18.0 PPG and 7.3 APG, major playmaker
  2. Hawkeye’s junior forward Tyler Cook, with 16.5 PPG and 8.2 RPG, has missed a few games lately
  3. Spartan forwards Tillman, Goins and Ward are together taking down 6.9 ORPG
  4. Iowa guards Wieskamp and Bohannon each averaging around 11.5 PPG
  5. College College MSU forward Nick Ward (15.7 PPG, 6.8 RPG) vs UI forward Luke Garza (13.9 PPG, 4.9 RPG) – Ward holds major shooting advantage with 63% vs 53% field goal mark

Edge: Michigan State

Our Iowa vs Michigan State Pick

Our NCAAM Hawkeyes versus Spartans pick likes MSU at -5.0. The Spartans are the best team in the Big Ten, and they come to this game riding high. The Hawkeyes will be a tough opponent, especially in the first half. But we expect the Michigan State defense and their inside game will create some distance in the second part of this game. Take MSU at -5.0. For another great NCAAM’s college basketball Top-25 pick, see Ryan’s prediction for #21 NC State and #23 Louisville. That game tips off at 8:00 pm ET. Plus, we’ve made our spread pick for the Santa Clara vs Gonzaga matchup at 11 pm ET tonight.

Summary MSU at UI Pick: Michigan State Spartans at -5.0


Paul has been writing about sports betting and sports for more than a decade, offering picks on the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, as well as on college sports and European football. He's written thousands of season and post-season previews, innumerable articles on sports betting strategies, and various books on sports and sports betting.

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