Villanova vs. Michigan State Odds, Picks: Will Sparty Keep Up Momentum?
Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Mady Sissoko (Michigan State)
Villanova vs. Michigan State Odds
-114o / -106u
|Michigan State Odds|
-114o / -106u
The Spartans are coming off of an upset over Kentucky in double overtime in the Champions Classic.
Meanwhile, Villanova has had a rough go of it lately, as it misses Cam Whitmore and Justin Moore greatly. The Wildcats have wins over La Salle and Delaware State, but dropped a “gimme” against Temple last Friday.
Once they have their full backcourt and some assistance from Whitmore, they could make a nice run. Until then, they may be in flux.
For Sparty, Mady Sissoko has shown he can fill in all of the gaps left behind by Gabe Brown, Marcus Bingham Jr. and Julius Marble. He's averaging over 11 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.
Malik Hall and Joey Hauser are great boosts in the post, and A.J. Hoggard and Tyson Walker are a solid backcourt and have shown they can play with the best in the country.
Since Villanova is going to be limping through non-conference play without their two top players, MSU should win this game and cover.
Nova is going to be a great team — just not yet. Per KenPom, the Wildcats rank 307th in offensive rebounding. This is one area they could have taken advantage of in this game because the Spartans are 201st in defensive rebounding.
Last season, the Wildcats rarely fouled. Through three games, they come in at 132nd in FTA/FGA. MSU has gotten over 21% of its points from the free throw line and is shooting a collective 74.6%.
Look for Sparty to own Villanova in this regard and take advantage of this with Hoggard, Hauser and Hall (i.e. their usual suspects on the line).
Nova also does do a good job of getting fouled. The Wildcats shoot 86.5% from the free throw line, and MSU has its own issues with fouling. This game could get a little messy with fouling, which is one reason to be concerned about the total.
Brandon Slater is 17-of-17 from the line this season and has the length to bash with MSU’s bigs. Here's what he's capable of:
Gus Johnson on the call. pic.twitter.com/PtlxWzWtOF
— Heat Check CBB (@HeatCheckCBB) March 1, 2022
Villanova struggles inside the arc. It ranks 109th in 2-point field goal percentage. Much of this has to do with the majority of its points coming from the line and beyond the arc.
Photo by CBB Analytics
MSU’s forte has been the defensive end. Per KenPom, it ranks 15th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. The Spartans are holding opponents to an eFG% of 42.4%, so this will negate Villanova’s impact on offense.
The Spartans will need the 3-ball to exploit Villanova’s greatest defensive weakness: defending the arc. On the season, Nova is permitting opponents to shoot 33.3% from deep.
Hauser and Walker will be key ingredients for giving the lead to MSU. Hauser has been above 40% from 3-point range every year except his first season at MSU.
Walker shot over 47% from outside last season and is only around 25% at the moment. This number should regress positively to the mean, though.
So far, MSU’s effectiveness has been inside, but Tom Izzo should be ready to have his team launch against the Wildcats' inexperienced guards.
Photo by CBB Analytics
Villanova vs. Michigan State Betting Pick
MSU looks much sharper at this point in the season. This may not be the case come March — especially when Nova gets Moore and Whitmore consistently in the lineup — but it sure is the case right now.
The Spartans have figured out their issues in the post with Sissoko complimenting Hauser and Hall. If MSU can get fouled more often, win the rebounding battle and knock down a few 3s, it will win this game.
Take the Spartans at -5.5, and play them to -6.
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