Wisconsin Badgers vs. Michigan State Spartans Preview and Pick ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>
|Wisconsin (19-8) +6 1/2 , o/u 142 at Michigan State (19-9), 7 p.m. Eastern, ESPN
by Ultimatecapper.com Staff
The slumping Michigan State Spartans look to get their game back on track when they host the Wisconsin Badgers tonight in East Lansing.
While Michigan State is probably in the NCAA tournament, they haven’t played like they deserve it lately. The Spartans have lost two games in a row and four of their last five after falling at Indiana 78-71 Sunday.
After putting their post-season possibilities in doubt by losing three games in a row, the Badgers have bounced back to win four of their last five. Wisconsin beat pesky Minnesota 80-74 Sunday as a nine-point home favorite.
Wisconsin is 12-13 against the spread this season; 2-3 ats as an underdog, 2-6 both straight up and ats on the road and 7-7 ats in the Big 10.
Michigan State is 11-14 against the spread this season; 8-11 ats as a favorite, 6-6 ats at home and 6-8 ats in Big 10 play.
State is also 0-2 since starting forward Matt Trannon (5 pts., 4 rebs. per game) went down with a broken jaw.
The Badgers have dominated the series recently, winning seven of the last eight meetings between the two teams. Wisconsin kicked the Spartans 82-63 in Madison in January.
Michigan State shoots 49 percent from the floor, 38 percent from three-point territory and a sparkling 78 percent from the line. The Spartans also own a +5 rebounds per game margin. But the State bench has produced just nine points total in the last two games.
The Badgers have struggled at times this season from the free-throw line, and are hitting at just a 67 percent rate from the stripe. Much of this has to do with leading scorer Alando Tucker (19 ppg), who shoots more free throws then anyone else on the team by a large margin but hits just 54 percent of them. This being said, Wisconsin went 10 for 10 from the line in the last minute against Minnesota.
The Badgers are alone in fourth place in the Big 10 at 9-5, a game and a half behind league-leading Ohio State. Michigan State is wedged into seventh place in the conference at a disappointing 7-7.
Thanks in large part to the relative strength, either real or perceived, of the Big 10 Conference, Wisconsin is 16th and Michigan State 17th in the latest RPI at NCAAsports.com.
The Big 10 Conference tournament starts next Thursday in Indianapolis.
Bet this game using a checking account at Bdg
The Ultimatecapper Pick: Michigan State is vulnerable. We’re taking the Badgers plus the 6.5