14th-ranked Rutgers will look to bounce back from its crushing loss on Saturday when they hit the road to take on 17th-ranked Michigan State on Tuesday. The Spartans will look to record consecutive conference wins after snapping a three-game skid over the weekend.
With both nationally-ranked national championship hopefuls going all-out for the statement-making win, let’s find out which team is offering the best betting value in this intriguing affair so you can make your bets against their College Basketball odds.
College Basketball Predictions – No. 14 Rutgers at No. 17 Michigan State
Why Bet On No. 14 Rutgers
Rutgers (5-3-1 ATS) was on the wrong end of a gut-wrenching 77-75 home loss to Iowa on Saturday. Jacob Young scored a team-high 17 points while four players added an identical 13 points, including leading scorer Ron Harper Jr. who made his return from a one-game absence due to a sprained ankle. Iowa made three free throws in the final 17 seconds to get the win.
“What we took away from (Saturday) is we’ve got to make foul shots,”Harper Jr. said. “You are not going to win a lot of basketball games like that. So it is on everybody in the locker room to keep getting better.”
The Scarlet Knights were outscored 18-4 at the free throw line and only made 33 percent (4 of 12) of their foul shots.
“We played really hard, we had chances, they were just one possession better,” Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell said.
Rutgers averages 80.0 points per game on a stellar 49.0 percent shooting mark from the field and 39.3 percent from beyond the arc. The Scarlet Knights allow 71.6 points per game on 42.3 percent shooting from the field and 30.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Why Bet On No. 17 Michigan State
The 17th-ranked Spartans (2-8 ATS) snapped a three-game losing streak by getting past Nebraska 84-77 on Saturday after losing their first three Big Ten games for the first time since 2001-02. Junior forward Aaron Henry scored a career-high 27 points after getting limited to 34 combined points in Michigan State’s first three conference games.
“I was just a small piece of the puzzle,” Henry said. “I may have scored more than other nights and played one of my better nights, but I’m a team guy. I’m all about that and the focus (Saturday) was just to get a win; anything we can do to get a win. That’s anybody that comes to Michigan State.”
While Henry starred in this matchup, it was senior guard Joshua Langford that sealed the deal for the Spartans late with a putback and some late free throws.
“That was a good win, but it’s not good enough,” Izzo said. “When we have a 17-point lead, you’ve got to learn to step on them. We did play good in stretches, so now we’re starting to play some good stretches, but we just need to do it more consistently. We won our first game and we’re 1-0 in 2021. That’s how I’m going to have to look at it for now.”
Michigan State averages 79.0 points per game on 45.1 percent shooting from the field and 34.9 percent from beyond the arc. The Spartans allow 75.6 points per game on 43.6 percent shooting from the field and 35.6 percent from beyond the arc.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (7-2) Vs Michigan State Spartans (7-3)
- When: Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021 at 9:00 PM ET
- Where: Breslin Center, East Lansing, MI
- TV: ESPN2
- NCAAB Odds: TBD
Expert Analysis and Predictions
Michigan State might be playing at home and coming into this matchup off their first conference win, but I believe the Spartans will find things much tougher against a Rutgers squad that shoots it as well as any team in the nation. The Scarlet Knights are ranked 68th in scoring, 36th in field goal shooting percentage and a fantastic 25th in three-point shooting percentage.
More importantly, Ron Harper Jr. should be more effective in his second game back from injury after putting up nine fewer points against Iowa than he averages this season. I wasn’t overly impressed with Michigan State’s performance against a mediocre Nebraska team and I believe the Spartans are ripe for the upset.
Rutgers is 5-1 ATS in its last six games and 4-1 ATS in its last five meetings against Michigan State. The Spartans are 0-7 ATS in their last seven games and 1-4 ATS in their last five Big Ten battles. Rutgers could be a slight road dog in this matchup, but I wouldn’t worry about it. I like the Scarlet Knights to cover by winning outright!
Pick: Rutgers 81 Michigan State 75
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