Oddsmakers aren’t quite sure of Michigan State after their loss to Indiana a few days ago. The 14-5 Spartans are just -3 point favorites as they head to Minneapolis in the January 26th college basketball free pick. The Golden Gophers are a quality 9-1 at home, but suffered a 16 point loss in East Lansing a little over two weeks ago. Is Minnesota up for the rematch?
Michigan State Has Struggled on the Road Lately
Tom Izzo’s team has dropped 2 of their last 3 on the road, which is a major reason the Spartans are just 3 point favorites in the January 26th college basketball free pick. Michigan State fell down 20-37 at the half against Purdue en route to a 42-71 throttling when MSU was a -4 road favorite. Another slow start doomed them on Thursday, falling down by 15 in the 1st half to Indiana before falling short 63-67.
Of course there is a quality win over Wisconsin sandwiched between those losses (at home). Michigan State also looked dominant in a 74-58 win over these Golden Gophers on January 9th. The dynamic duo of Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman combined for 46 points in what was MSU’s 4th straight win over Minnesota.
The reason why Michigan State looks like ????Hammer Time???? on Sunday is because the recent wins over Minnesota haven’t really been close. Aside from the 16 point win earlier this month, the Spartans have wins of 70-50 and 79-55 last season and an 87-57 drubbing in 2018.
Does Home Court Make Minnesota the Play?
Richard Pitino’s team is going to be facing a very focused Michigan State squad in the January 26th college basketball free pick. Not only have the Spartans dropped two in a row on the road, they have also fallen out of 1st place with Illinois’ win over Michigan on Saturday. The Spartans can climb back into a tie atop the Big 10 with a win in Minneapolis on Sunday though.
Minnesota has gone 9-1 at Williams Arena this season. That includes wins over Penn State and Michigan the last two at home as well as a 13 point thumping of Ohio State in mid December. The Golden Gophers are also coming off a win at Ohio State on Thursday, getting the outright victory as +8.5 underdogs.
Of course there’s also a recent history against Michigan State to address. The Golden Gophers weren’t expected to win in East Lansing two weeks ago, coming in as +12 point underdogs. Daniel Oturu did have a 22/10 night, but the rest of the Golden Gophers shot pretty horribly. Gabe Kalscheur hit just 1 of his 6 three point attempts while Marcus Carr went a mere 3 of 11 from the field. Carr has been better since with 21+ in 3 of 4 while the Big 10’s three point leader Kalscheur should see more success at home. Will it be enough though?
January 26th College Basketball Free Pick
Minnesota is a quality team, especially at home. They just haven’t matched up well with Michigan State over the last 2-3 years. That includes at Williams Arena where MSU won by 30 when they visited there in 2018. Combine the extenuating circumstances of the Spartans falling out of 1st place in the Big 10 for the first time this year and Michigan State is going to be looking to flex in this one.
Pick: Michigan State Spartans -3