Indiana (11-7, 4-2) at Michigan State (16-3, 4-2)
When: Friday, January 19th 2018
Where: Breslin Center, East Lansing, MI
Time: 7:00 ET | TV: FOX Sports 1
Opening Odds: Michigan State -14.5
The Michigan State Spartans have fallen on rough times since being ranked No. 1 in the nation a few weeks back, and will try and get back on track when they host the resurgent Indiana Hoosiers on a rare Friday night game in East Lansing. The Spartans have dropped two of their last three games – setbacks to Ohio State and Michigan – sandwiched around a home overtime win over Rutgers – after starting the season with 15 victories in their first 16 games. Indiana enters Friday’s action on a three-game winning streak after an easy win over Northwestern last Sunday. Coach Archie Miller has Indiana playing some of its best basketball of the season, thanks to an improved defense that held Northwestern to 46 points – the third lowest total the Hoosiers have allowed in a Big Ten game since 2000. Junior forward Juwan Morgan leads Indiana’s offense in scoring (15.6 points) and rebounding (7.4 rebounds) but senior guard Robert Johnson has the hot hand right now, averaging 18.3 points during the three-game winning streak. Michigan State tops the nation in field-goal percentage defense at 34.9%, but have given up 80 points three times this season – all of them losses, including two of the last three games. Miles Bridges continues to lead the offense while producing a team-leading 16.7 points a game, but forward Nick Ward’s offense has declined in Big Ten action, averaging 10.8 points in conference games compared to 15.8 against non-conference opponents. Indiana leads the all-time series 68-53, but Michigan State has won 11 of the last 16 meetings.
Indiana’s frontcourt took a major hit when starting center De’Ron Davis tore his Achilles, so Miller is leaning on his backcourt to help crash the boards on the defensive side. Miller is looking for 12 defensive rebounds from his perimeter players each game, hoping that will result in some fast-break opportunities. In the three games since Davis has been out, the Hoosier guards have averaged 14 defensive boards, leading to three victories, but they’ll be going up against one of the top rebounding teams in the country on Friday night. In the Hoosiers’ four Big Ten victories, they have a +20 in turnover margin.
While Ward has struggled since conference play began, it’s been his defense that has been the biggest problem after Michigan’s Moritz Wagner scorched him for a career-high 27 points in the Wolverines’ win on Saturday. Ward earned some bench time early in the season for not helping out enough on ball screens, but has improved on that significantly. However, that aspect led to Wagner being left open too often last week. The Spartans have a young team, and that includes freshman Jaren Jackson Jr., who ranks sixth in the country with 3.3 blocks per game after recording six last time out and already ranks third on the Michigan State single-season blocks list with 62.
These are two teams that are tough to figure out, but one thing you can look at is the recent history. Indiana has not fared well in East Lansing recently or on the road overall. Michigan State has covered the spread in 10 of the last 13 matchups at the Breslin Center. This is a lot of points to lay, but take it to the bank.
Pick: Michigan State -15.5
- Hoosiers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Hoosiers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- Hoosiers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Hoosiers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. Big Ten.
- Hoosiers are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Hoosiers are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 road games.
- Hoosiers are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Hoosiers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing less than 50 points in their previous game.
- Spartans are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Friday games.
- Spartans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
- Spartans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Spartans are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games following a double-digit loss at home.
- Spartans are 20-6 ATS in their last 26 home games.
- Spartans are 35-17 ATS in their last 52 games following a straight up loss.
- Spartans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
- Spartans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. Big Ten.
- Spartans are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Spartans are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Under is 6-1 in Hoosiers last 7 vs. Big Ten.
- Under is 5-1 in Hoosiers last 6 overall.
- Under is 4-1 in Hoosiers last 5 road games.
- Under is 4-1 in Hoosiers last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Under is 4-1 in Hoosiers last 5 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Under is 5-2 in Hoosiers last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Over is 4-0 in Spartans last 4 games following a ATS loss.
- Over is 6-1 in Spartans last 7 home games.
- Over is 4-1 in Spartans last 5 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
- Over is 4-1 in Spartans last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Over is 7-2 in Spartans last 9 overall.
- Over is 14-5-1 in Spartans last 20 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Favorite is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings.
- Home team is 19-8 ATS in the last 27 meetings.
- Over is 7-3-1 in the last 11 meetings in Michigan St.
- Hoosiers are 3-10 ATS in the last 13 meetings in Michigan St.