The #2 Michigan State Spartans (10-5 Overall, 1-2 Big Ten) visit the unranked Northwestern Wildcats (15-12 Overall, 6-8 Big Ten) in their first and only matchup of the 2017-18 season. In the Big Ten, the Spartans are tied with the #8 Ohio State Buckeyes for the top spot, while the #6 Purdue Boilermakers are one game in back. Northwestern is eighth in the conference and 6.5 games out of first. Our Michigan State plays Northwestern 2018 NCAA basketball Big 10 pick has the Spartans at -7.5 and the over/under at either 134.5 or 135.0.
The last time the Spartans lost was Jan. 13. That was to rival Michigan by a score of 82-72. Since then they have run off nine straight wins, including a 68-65 victory over #3 Purdue on Feb. 10. Their last game was on Feb. 13 when they beat Minnesota 87-57. The Wildcats are 5-5 for their last 10 games and have lost two in a row. Their last win, which was on Feb. 6, was a big one, as they beat #20 Michigan 61-52. Previously, they has lost to the #24 Wolverines 58-47 on Jan. 29.
The Spartans hold an edge over Northwestern in just about every major statistical category. They top the Wildcats in points per game 83.3 to 69.0, field goal percentage 51.7 to 42.6, and rebounds 41.4 to 33.9. Assists stand at 20.4 to 14.1 and blocks 7.7 to 4.5. The Wildcats are holding teams to 65.9 PPG, while Michigan State is keeping them at 65.0. Both teams are in the mid-70s when it comes to field goal percentages, but the Spartans lead in three-point conversions 42% to 35%.
Players to Watch
For the Spartans, sophomore guard Miles Bridges and sophomore forward Nick Ward offer solid offensive and rebounding chops. Bridges is averaging 17.3 PPG and 7.0 RPG, while Ward is good for 13.1 PPG and 7.5 RPG. Sophomore guard Cassius Winston is dishing off 7.1 APG while scoring 12.1. He’s a 53% three-point shooter. The Spartans have depth and are an all-around solid team.
Wildcat junior center Derek Pardon is leading the team in rebounds with 7.0 per game. He’s hitting for 11.4 PPG while making 1.9 BPG. At forward, junior Vic Law is hauling down 5.9 RPG and scoring 11.8 PPG. The top scorer on the team is Scottie Lindsey, a senior guard, who is averaging 14.9 PPG. You can expect solid play from these guys.
Our Michigan State Plays Northwestern 2018 NCAA Basketball Big 10 Pick
The odds and stats look good for a Spartan pick. They outdistance the Wildcats in just about every area, and although Northwestern has done well against some tough teams, they have not done so consistently. Our Michigan State plays Northwestern 2018 NCAA basketball Big 10 pick is the Spartans at -7.5. We’re also taking the under in this game, which is at 135.0.