Minnesota vs Michigan State Odds, Pick for Thursday

Minnesota vs Michigan State Odds, Pick for Thursday article feature image

Rey Del Rio/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyson Walker of the Michigan State Spartans.

Minnesota vs Michigan State Odds, Pick

Thursday, Jan. 18
6:30 p.m. ET
Minnesota Odds
-110o / -110u
Michigan State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

Tom Izzo's Michigan State Spartans needed a statement win Sunday to get their season back on track. As it turns out, Sparty was up for the task and blew out Rutgers after a solid performance in the second half.

Things are trending upward in East Lansing, and a big performance is on the horizon when the Minnesota Golden Gophers come to town.

The Spartans know they will not be taken seriously by the Big Ten if they lay an egg at home.

The Gophers, meanwhile, are in trouble after suffering consecutive losses to Indiana and Iowa. On Thursday, we'll see if they have the chops to turn things around.

Where does the betting value lie in this Big Ten battle?

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Their 12-5 record looks pretty to some, but truth be told, the Gophers are a mediocre basketball team. Their strength of schedule is among some of the worst teams in the country.

For that reason, their recent performances against Big Ten opponents aren't shocking, which leads me to believe they won't win this game. As shaky as the Spartans have been, the Gophers don't compare from a talent perspective.

Minnesota enters the game ranking top-95 in offensive and defensive efficiency, but those numbers are flawed, coming against inferior competition for the most part.

The biggest issue for the Gophers offense has been their inability to protect the basketball. They're turning the ball over at a high rate, which is bad news against the Spartans.

Guards Mike Mitchell and Cam Christie supply most of the 3-point damage, shooting a combined 39%. If the Gophers have any prayer of winning the game, both of them will have to crack the Spartans' stingy perimeter defense.

Most of the Gophers' efficiency comes from interior scoring. But again, Sparty is relentless in that area of the floor.

It's not a great matchup for Minnesota. Don't fall for its early-season success — I can't back this team here.

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Michigan State Spartans

I'm not convinced this is an excellent Sparty team, but a convincing win at home can do wonders for the unit's chemistry.

Analytically, the Spartans fit the mold of a championship team, except for a few areas.

They enter the game top-26 in offensive and defensive efficiency. They have depth, guard play and can defend well. However, they've struggled at the charity stripe and don't generate trips there either.

Michigan State's advantage in the game will be its ability to force turnovers. The Gophers tend to be careless with the ball, so this is a golden opportunity for Sparty to win in style.

The Spartans should win the rebounding battle and have their way from beyond the arc, as the Gophers don't have an elite perimeter defense.

Michigan State has more talent in this matchup. If it manages to lose the game outright, it will officially no longer be a threat in the Big Ten or national picture.

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Minnesota vs Michigan State

Betting Pick & Prediction

Just like I wrote on Sunday, the Spartans are desperate. I have faith that Izzo will have his team ready to make another big statement at home.

The Gophers are not nearly as talented as their record suggests, so I still believe they're inflated in the market. The Spartans should force an abundance of turnovers and turn this into an ugly game early.

Tyson Walker and AJ Hoggard were quiet on Sunday, which leads me to believe they'll bounce back in a big way here.

Expect a Sparty party in East Lansing.

Pick: Michigan State -12.5 or Better

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Jun 25, 2024 UTC