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Michigan State Spartans vs. Michigan Wolverines Spartans Betting Preview

Saturday evening features an intra-state grudge match as the Michigan State Spartans (16-9, 8-6) take on the Michigan Wolverines (14-12, 8-7). The Wolverines will host this one at the Crisler Center, with tipoff scheduled for 8:00 pm ET.

The Wolverines are slight favorites in this one playing at home. They are -134 to win, while the Spartans’ moneyline sits at +112. The spread features Michigan State as 1.5-point underdogs (-102), and the over/under for total points is 134.5 (-110).

Emotional Michigan State Returns To Court

After the tragedy that struck the campus of Michigan State this past week, the Spartans will be taking the court for the very first time with heavy hearts. While the campus mourns for their lost classmates, the Spartans will try to provide a brief escape Saturday night as they take on their longtime rivals.

Head coach Tom Izzo and the Spartans come into this one having just the 243rd-best offense in the nation, averaging 67.9 points per game. They are led by Tyson Walker (13.8 points), Joey Hauser (13.7 points, 7.2 rebounds), and A.J. Hoggard (12.1 points, 5.8 assists).

Defense is the Spartans’ stronger side. They rank 33rd in scoring defense, allowing opponents just 64.6 points per game (69.1 on the road).

It was this defense that helped the Spartans take down Michigan in their first matchup at home. In the 59-53 victory, Walker, Hoggard, and Malik Hall combined for 44 points, while the Wolverines struggled to get anything going consistently on offense.

Wolverines Trying To Repay The Favor At Home

At 14-12 overall, it has been a rough year for head coach Juwan Howard’s Wolverines. They currently sit ninth in the Big Ten, and they come in having lost two in a row. They will look to get back into the win column as they host the Spartans.

Defensively, the Wolverines rank 144th in the country as they are allowing opponents an average of 69.1 points per game. On the offensive side, they rank 117th, averaging 73.1 points.

Leading the Wolverine offense is 7’1” big man Hunter Dickinson. In 26 games, he is averaging 17.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game.

Other contributors for Michigan include Jett Howard (14.6 points, 2.6 rebounds) and Kobe Bufkin (12.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.3 steals).

Take Michigan State To Win On The Road

Michigan State comes in having gone 11-5 in their last 16 games. In their last 10 games against the Wolverines, they are 7-3 both straight up and against the spread.

As for Michigan, they are 6-2 in their last eight games and 13-6 in their last 19 February games. In their last five home Saturday games, though, they are just 1-4 against the spread.

Neither of these two teams are especially dominant, but Michigan State showed in their first matchup that they have the defense to be able to make life difficult for the Wolverines.

Expect this game to be low scoring, which gives the Spartans and their defense a sure advantage. Playing on the road is always a factor, but expect an emotional Michigan State team to play with some extra motivation and to pick up the win on Saturday.

Take the Spartans straight up (+112).

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