By: Matthew Vale (@matthewvale15)
Spread: Maryland -2
March 11th 2021. 10:30 AM Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
Michigan State Spartans (15-11, 9-11)
The Spartans are back from the dead after they made the most of their schedule down the stretch defeating 3 top 5 teams in Illinois, Ohio State, and Michigan to squarely put themselves on the safe side of the bubble. The Michigan win was particularly impressive to comeback 4 days after losing to the same team by 19 points to go on and win by nearly double digits. Rocket Watts played spectacular in that contest as he went for a team high 21 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. The Spartans dominated on the glass winning the rebound margin by +6. Michigan State is not the best offensive team as they ranked at a middling 84th in the country in offensive efficiency. They have been very good defensively this season keeping their last 8 opponents to under 75 points and keeping 4 out of their last 5 opponents under 70 points. Sparty ranks a very respectable 35th in the country in defensive efficiency.
Maryland Terrapins (15-12, 9-11 )
Maryland was riding high and feeling very good about their tournament chances after riding a 5 game winning streak to close out February. Since the calendar has flipped to March, things have not gone as well for the Terps. They lost 2 easy games they should have won to Northwestern and Penn State.Maryland is similar to Michigan in the fact that they do not have the most impressive offense (ranked 43rd in the country). However they do boast one of the best defenses in the country coming in at 26th in defensive efficiency, anchored by the newly crowned Big 10 DPOY Darryl Morsell.
I am surprised that the Terps are favored in this one after Michigan State defeated Michigan in their last game and Maryland lost their last two to Northwestern and Penn State at home. The Terps are on a tiny skid as they have lost 2 in a row straight up and ATS. Most of this betting must be stemming from the 18 point beat down that the Terps laid on the Spartans last time these two teams met, but I will take full advantage of that to get the better odds for MSU. My Dad taught me even from a young age that you don’t bet against Izzo in March and I have learned to agree. Michigan State is 13-1 in their last 14 games played in March. The Spartans are also trending in the right direction having won 5 of their last 7 ATS while going 5-2 straight up in those games. The Terps are on a tiny skid as they have lost 2 in a row straight up and ATS. I really like the under in this one too as MSU’s last 5 games have gone under and 10 of Maryland’s last 12 games have gone under. If you want to go the safer route, you can tease Michigan State with the under, if you want to go more aggressive, I think this would be a good spot to parlay MSU +2 and the under, but for my best bet, I will go with 2 separate bets.
Take Michigan State +2 and under 131 for 1 unit each.
Matthew’s college basketball record 20/21: 13-8
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