Michigan St. Spartans vs. Ohio St. Buckeyes
The Michigan State Spartans and the Ohio State Buckeyes face off on Sunday in East Lansing with the Big Ten regular season title going to the winner. The Spartans are -2.5 point favorites over the Buckeyes with an over/under point total set at 128.5.
The Michigan State Spartans control their own destiny but Tom Izzo’s team blew their chance to wrap things up earlier this week when they lost at Indiana on Tuesday. MSU is 13-4 in the Big 10, 17-0 at home this season, they have a game lead in the conference standings, and they are 6-4 against teams ranked in the top 25 including a win at Ohio State. Draymond Green os averaging 16.1 points and 10.2 rebounds, Keith Appling is averaging 11.5 points, and Branden Dawson is averaging 8.5 points and 4.6 rebounds. As a team Michigan State is averaging 71.9 points and they are shooting 47.3 percent while defensively they are allowing 58.2 points and they are shooting 37.5 percent. The Spartans back down from no one when it comes to hitting the boards.
The Ohio State Buckeyes have been near the top of the national rankings just about all season but Thad Matta’s team has gone just 3-3 in their last six games. OSU is 12-5 in the Big 10, 6-4 on the road this season, they are tied for second place in the conference standings, and they are 5-5 against teams ranked in the top 25. Jared Sullinger is averaging 17 points and 9.2 rebounds, Deshaun Thomas is averaging 15.2 points and 4.9 rebounds, and William Buford is averaging 14.8 points and 4.9 rebounds. As a team Ohio State is averaging 74.7 points and they are shooting 48.4 percent while defensively they are allowing 58.1 points and their opponents shoot 40.6 percent. For the second season it has been the Buckeyes lack of depth that has been their undoing against the better teams.
Michigan State is 8-0 against the spread in their last eight home games, 6-2 against the spread in their last eight games overall, and 16-7 against the spread against a team with a winning record. Ohio State is 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games overall, 5-2 against the spread following a game which they didn’t cover, and 0-4 against the spread following a win. The underdog has covered four in a row in this series.
The total is set at 128.5 and I see this one staying under the number.