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No. 10 Michigan State favored by double digits over No. 18 Iowa

Iowa vs Michigan State Betting Odds

The No. 18 Iowa Hawkeyes look to rebound from their first loss of the season as they tip off against the No. 10 Michigan State Spartans at the Breslin Center. Michigan State earned a narrow 96-93 road victory over Iowa last season for its second straight win in this head-to-head matchup. The Spartans are a 10-point favorite in tonight’s game with the total opening at 158 points.

Shark Bites
  • Iowa is 1-4 ATS in its last five games on the road vs Michigan State.
  • Michigan State is 8-0 SU in its last eight games at home (avg. winning margin: 23.38).
  • The total has gone UNDER in four of Michigan State’s last five games at home (avg. combined score: 147.2).

Iowa vs Michigan State Game Center

The Spartans continue to shoot the long ball

For the first time since November 18, Michigan State will entertain its home fans at the Breslin Center. The Spartans have played only three home games this season, winning each game by an average margin of 37.67, including a 101-33 triumph over Tennessee Tech. Junior guard Cassius Winston is leading the charge by averaging 17.9 points per game, including shooting 43.4 percent from beyond the arc, and he also adds 7.1 assists per game.

Overall, Michigan State is hitting an average of 9.8 triples per game, which is tied for 28th-best in the nation, and the team is shooting a terrific 41.5 percent from long range. Defensively, the Spartans are doing a good job contesting shots, limiting their opponents to just a 37.3 shooting percentage and 68.8 points per game. They grab the fifth-most rebounds per game at 44.1, including 29.6 defensive boards, which is the 10th-most, while allowing opponents to grab 7.1 offensive rebounds, the 51st-fewest in college basketball.

Hawkeyes coming off their first loss of the season

It took until the seventh game of the year for Iowa to suffer its first defeat, falling 72-66 to No. 22 Wisconsin last Friday. The Hawkeyes’ six-game winning streak out of the gate was their best since they won seven straight to begin the 2013-14 season. Unlike Michigan State, Iowa likes to work the ball into the key to collect its points. Junior forward Tyler Cook leads the team by averaging 15.4 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.

However, 30.6 percent of the Hawkeyes’ points come from getting to the free-throw line, which is the highest percentage in the nation. They draw 24.4 fouls per game, tied for the third-most in college basketball. This isn’t good for the Spartans as they average 20.4 fouls per game, which is the 95th-most in the NCAA, and their opponents collect 24.4 percent of their points from the charity stripe, the 28th-highest percentage in the league. Defensively, Iowa’s counterparts are shooting 31.1 percent from beyond the arc, which is tied for the 92nd-lowest in the nation, but those teams are also scoring 72 points per game and that’s the 162nd-lowest.

Should you be on the OVER?

Both teams have signs pointing toward the UNDER and Bovada has tonight’s total opening at 157 points. Michigan State has gone UNDER 157 points in five of its eight games this season with an average combined score of 155.63, while Iowa has gone UNDER 157 points in four of its seven games. Additionally, four of the last five meetings between these two schools have gone UNDER 157 points, but last year’s meeting had a combined score of 189.

However, both teams rank in the top portion of the nation in points scored per game, with the Spartans scoring the 11th-most at 86.9 and the Hawkeyes putting 82.6 ppg, which is the 33rd-most. Lastly, Iowa allows the 172nd-fewest three-pointers per game at 7.4, while Michigan State allows the 44th-most opponent free throws per game, both areas that the other team succeeds in, and I think the OVER is the better bet.

My take on Iowa vs Michigan State

I like the Hawkeyes +10 in tonight’s game. Michigan State fell 82-78 in overtime against Louisville last Tuesday and the Cardinals had 41 free-throw attempts in that game. The Hawkeyes get 30.6 percent of their total points from the charity stripe and I think the Spartans are going to get into foul trouble once again, which will keep this game close. Lastly, these two teams met last year with the Spartans winning 96-93 and with similar squads this year, I anticipate another close encounter tonight.

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