Michigan State vs. Minnesota College Basketball Odds & Picks: Betting Value on Monday’s Spread & Over/Under
Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Rocket Watts.
- Michigan State will take on Minnesota in a Big Ten matchup on Monday night.
- The Gophers have been on fire from 3 in their last two games, but Pat McMahon sees some regression coming.
- Check out McMahon's full betting analysis complete with updated odds below.
Michigan State vs. Minnesota Odds
|Michigan State Odds||-1.5 [BET NOW]|
|Minnesota Odds||+1 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||159.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Monday, 8 p.m. ET|
|TV||Big Ten Network|
Michigan State heads to Minneapolis on Monday night to take on a surging Minnesota squad.
The Spartans are still searching for their first conference win after dropping their first two Big Ten contests to Northwestern and Wisconsin.
Back-to-back losses shouldn’t have Michigan State fans sounding the alarms just yet, but the Spartans really don’t want to lose a third straight and plummet even further down the Big Ten standings.
Minnesota is 1-1 thus far in Big Ten play and is coming off a pair of huge victories last week over Saint Louis and fourth-ranked Iowa.
The Gophers are in the midst of a brutal nine-game stretch that extends to mid-January. Protecting home court is critical in order for them to come out on the other side of this stretch without too many blemishes on their record.
Michigan State Spartans
Michigan State started strong out of the gate, winning its first six games and reaching as high as fourth in the AP poll. Convincing early wins over Notre Dame and Duke have lost a little luster, as neither club is playing up to its preseason billing.
Now, the Spartans have dropped their last two and are tied for last in the Big Ten standings. But it’s not time to hit the panic button in East Lansing just yet.
The strength of this team comes from its depth. Tom Izzo has a 10-man rotation, and no player averages more than 30 minutes per game. This type of depth puts the Spartans in a great position long-term to deal with the nightly grind of Big Ten play.
Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman departing to the NBA were big losses for this program. Bringing in Marquette transfer Sam Hauser and getting sixth-year senior Joshua Langford back healthy has helped soften the blow of losing their two stars.
Hauser is leading the Spartans in scoring and rebounding and has been a very efficient shooter, hitting 56% of his overall attempts and 44% of his 3-pointers. His ability to stretch the defense and create matchup problems against bigger defenders has been a huge plus for the Michigan State offense.
Langford and Aaron Henry form a really strong duo on the wing.
Henry is a jack-of-all-trades player and is very strong defensively. However, he’s really struggled to find his outside shot, hitting just 13.6% of his attempts from distance this season. Gabe Brown is the first wing off the bench and provides instant offense. He’s an excellent outside shooter and has converted 51.7% of his 3-point attempts to date.
Rocket Watts and Foster Loyer have split the ball-handling duties this season. Watts usually sees more minutes because he’s the better athlete, defender, and overall player. However, Loyer’s terrific shooting ability makes him a valuable asset and has earned him big minutes in spots this season when the Spartans were in need of some offense.
Minnesota Golden Gophers
Excitement is high right now surrounding this Minnesota program, and the Gophers will likely be ranked for the first time this season when Monday’s new polls come out. The new ranking could be short-lived if the Gophers’ hot shooting doesn’t continue, as the schedule does not let up one bit over the next three weeks.
After getting through Illinois, Saint Louis, and Iowa with a 2-1 record, the Gophers are rewarded with the following six-game stretch: Michigan State, at Wisconsin, Ohio State, at Michigan, at Iowa, and Michigan.
That is as brutal a stretch as you will see in the sport, and the Gophers will be happy to win just half of their next six games.
Star point guard Marcus Carr has the ball in his hands a ton, and the Gophers’ success is largely dictated by his performance. Carr is having a fantastic season, ranking second in the Big Ten in points (24.6) and first in assists (6.2) per game. He’s been shooting the ball very well, with splits of 48% from the floor, 39% from 3, and 79% from the free-throw line. In Minnesota’s lone loss to Illinois, Carr struggled from the field, hitting just 3-of-13 attempts.
The Gophers have benefited as much as anyone in the nation from transfers this season, as three of their top five scorers are transfers.
Former Drake standout Liam Robbins is off to a great start and is a matchup nightmare. The seven-footer has a great touch in the post and can also step outside and hit threes.
Fellow transfers Brandon Johnson (Western Michigan) and Both Gach (Utah) have been crucial pieces for Pitino as well. Johnson is coming off the game of his career against Iowa, scoring 26 points and hitting all four of his 3-point attempts in overtime to secure the victory for the Gophers.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Both teams play at a fast pace and rank in the top 40 in adjusted tempo, according to KenPom. The collective pace and Minnesota’s stellar offensive execution in its last two outings are the main factors for the high total we’re seeing in this game.
In the last two games, Minnesota has hit 27 3-pointers, including 17 against Iowa. On the season, the Gophers have made 72 3s in nine games. With a long and athletic Spartans club coming to town, I’m expecting some negative variance back to the mean and for the Gophers to cool off from downtown.
Izzo’s team boasts the defensive personnel to slow down Carr and Robbins, and it will come in with a strong game plan to do so.
On the other end of the floor, Watts and Hauser will see favorable matchups and should have big nights. It’s tough to imagine the Spartans opening conference play 0-3, and this is a good spot for them to turn things around.
Pick: Michigan State -1 (down to -3) | Under 160 (down to 157).