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Iowa vs Michigan State Odds, Picks: Why Hawkeyes Will Cover

Iowa vs Michigan State Odds, Picks: Why Hawkeyes Will Cover article feature image
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Pictured: Head coach Fran McCaffery of the Iowa Hawkeyes. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Iowa vs Michigan State Odds

Thursday, Jan. 26
7 p.m. ET
FS1
Iowa Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+2.5
-118
145.5
-115o / -105u
+115
Michigan State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-2.5
-104
145.5
-115o / -105u
-138
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Michigan State has struggled mightily when Malik Hall hasn’t been on the floor this season. Five of the Spartans’ seven losses have come without Hall and unfortunately, he’s now out indefinitely.

Also on the injury front, Tyson Walker is likely to be back Thursday as the Spartans host the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Iowa is coming off of a brutal loss to Ohio State, but picked up four wins beforehand.

This game looks to be more of an offensive pairing than most Big Ten outings. However, the spread is a bit too favorable for how MSU has played without Hall.

Look for the Hawkeyes to cover the number.


Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa is a phenomenal offensive team. The Hawkeyes rank fifth in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency with the fourth-lowest turnover clip in the country.

They evenly distribute their points amongst 2s, 3s and free throws, which makes them so dangerous.

One of the most efficient pieces of this Iowa attack is the post-up game. Per ShotQuality, the Hawkeyes are averaging 0.93 points per possession (PPP) off of the post-up.

Typically, MSU has been efficient guarding the post-up — allowing only 0.84 PPP — but Hall is one of the tallest players on the roster.

Otherwise, Joey Hauser, Mady Sissoko and Jaxon Kohler are tasked with defending Iowa’s length.

MSU leaves opponents open for 3s at a 24% rate (ShotQuality). Iowa usually has trouble in this area, but it does shoot 34.4% as a unit.

Connor McCaffery and Kris Murray are the Hawkeyes’ deep threats, and even though MSU is limiting opponents to just over 30% from beyond the arc, those two should have some open looks from downtown.

Photo by CBB Analytics

Finally, Iowa gets to the free-throw line much more often than the Spartans. The Hawkeyes also foul significantly less, which should negate any sort of advantage MSU might earn as the home team.

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Michigan State Spartans

MSU is a much more balanced team than Iowa (50th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, 37th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency).

Iowa ranks 146th in defense, per KenPom, which could be the detriment to a cover.

Michigan State does not play into its strengths, though. The Spartans rank 348th in Shot Selection (ShotQuality). Their Rim & 3 Rate is abysmal (361st), and they only earn 0.98 PPP in half-court play, with a defensive turnover clip of 14.4%.

Any edge they may have over a porous Iowa defense is limited.

This team also shoots over 37% from 3-point range and 48.2% from 2-point range. Meanwhile, the Spartans’ 3-point attempt percentage is only 32.4%, ranking 302nd in the country.

Pair that with nearly 55% shooting from within the arc, and this is a story of an incredibly inefficient offense.

To go with that, Iowa holds opponents to a 32.2% 3-point rate on defense and will be able to contain the MSU offense.

Photo by CBB Analytics

Lastly, MSU ranks 232nd in rebounding percentage. Iowa ranks 77th.


Iowa vs Michigan State Betting Pick

The size the Hawkeyes provide with Connor McCaffery, Payton Sandfort, Filip Rebraca and Murray will simply be too much for the Spartans to handle.

MSU has yet to prove it can win with Hall on the bench. Hall only averages around 10 points and four boards per game, but his height and assistance on defense cannot be understated.

He’s an important member of this team and the Spartans struggle mightily when he cannot play.

Take Iowa at +3 (-110), and play it to +1.5 (-110).

Pick: Iowa +3 (Play to +1.5)

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