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Michigan State is coming off their first Big Ten loss, and only their second loss of the year. The Spartans allowed Michigan to go on a 10-0 run late in the game, and Michigan ended up beating the Spartans at the Breslin Center on Saturday night. Iowa lost to Michigan last week, but the Hawkeyes are coming off a win at Northwestern in their latest game. This contest is a huge one in the Big Ten standings. Let’s take a closer look at this marquee Big Ten matchup.

Michigan State Spartans vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Free Pick & Preview

College Basketball Betting Odds from WagerWeb

College Basketball Betting Favorite: Iowa -5


Game Preview:

The Michigan State Spartans were seen as the favorite in the Big Ten prior to this season. Tom Izzo’s team returned all kinds of ability. The Spartans are 18-2 on the year, but they have had a ton of close calls. Michigan State is in a difficult position now due to injuries. Adreian Payne has missed the team’s last five games, and he is expected to miss this one as well. Payne is the team’s best big man, and they really miss his versatility on the floor. Branden Dawson will be out a month with a broken hand injury. Dawson led the team in rebounding as a 6’6 guard. The Spartans will definitely miss his athleticism in this one. Michigan State’s a very dangerous team, but they come into this game at far less than 100 percent.

Iowa comes into this one at 16-4 on the season. Their only two losses in the Big Ten were close games at Wisconsin and at Michigan. Iowa won in Columbus against Ohio State, and they blew out a solid Minnesota team in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes had their chances in two meetings last year against Michigan State, but they fell short in both of those games. They lost by 3 at home to Michigan State last year, and lost by 3 again on a neutral floor in the Big Ten tournament after leading nearly the entire game.  Iowa ranks fifth in the nation in offensive efficiency this year. The Hawkeyes are averaging 85.2 points per game. Roy-Devyn Marble is one of the best players in the conference. He leads the team with 16 points per game. Iowa is third in the nation in offensive rebounding. Defensively, the Hawkeyes allow opponents to shoot just 37.8% from the floor.

Free Pick: Iowa -5

The Hawkeyes are 18-6 ATS in their last 24 games in the Big Ten. The oddsmakers are slowly catching up to how good this Iowa team is, but there’s still a little value left. Michigan State limps into this game, and Iowa has had this game circled for a very long time. Look for Iowa to make a statement. Take Iowa here.

I was the #1 Ranked NCAA Basketball Handicapper in the World last year. I also finished #1 in the 2010-2011 season. College basketball is my single best sport. Get all my college basketball picks all season long and join in the winning!


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