Michigan State Spartans (17) vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers (21) CBB Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions

December 27, 2020

Date:Monday, December 28th
Time:8:00 PM ET
Network:Big Ten Network
Venue:Williams Arena
Spread:Michigan State -2.5
O/U:153.5

The 6-2 Michigan State Spartans will go on the road to meet up with the 8-1 Wisconsin Badgers on Monday night at 8:00 PM ET in Williams Arena. The Spartans come in as 2.5-point road favorites and we’re looking at a 153.5 over/under. Michigan State is coming off two straight losses and are looking to bounce back against a Minnesota team that just beat one of the best teams in the country. You can tune into the stellar matchup on the Big Ten Network. Let’s dive into how this game will go down and who will end up covering the spread. Make sure to check out the rest of our CBB Picks and Predictions as we will have every big game covered.

Trends

  • Spartans are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 Monday games.
  • Golden Gophers are 2-5-2 ATS in their last 9 games following a ATS win.
  • Under is 21-7 in Spartans last 28 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
  • Under is 21-6 in Golden Gophers last 27 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.

When The Michigan State Spartans Have The Ball

After starting the season with six consecutive victories, the Spartans have lost two in a row to the Northwestern Wildcats and Wisconsin Badgers. The 9th-ranked Wisconsin loss is understandable, but losing to Northwestern by 14 as 7.5-point favorites is worrisome. They’ll be asked to bounce back against a Minnesota team that will make nothing easy. 

Michigan State is led by forwards Joey Hauser (14 pts, 8.6 reb, 2.4 ast) and Aaron Henry (12 pts, 5.5 reb, 4.6 ast, 1.5 stl, 1.8 blk). Point guard Rocket Watts (10.9 pts, 4.6 ast) is the only guard into double-figures as Joshua Langford has struggled early into the season. Henry and Hauser have carried this team thus far and others have to step up. 

As a team, Michigan State ranks first in the country with 22.5 assists per game. They don’t play as fast as Minnesota does, but they are far more efficient, shooting 36.8% from three and 47% overall. When Henry and Hauser are hot, this is a team that can keep up with anyone in the country. When one or both go cold, things can get tough as there isn’t much depth to dig into.

When The Minnesota Golden Gophers Have The Ball

On the Minnesota side of the ball, speed is the name of the game. The Golden Gophers average 84.7 points per game and do it all the while turning the ball over just 11.4 times per game. That’s good for the 11th best assist:turnover ratio in the entire country. Point guard Marcus Carr (24.6 pts, 6.2 ast, 3.8 reb) is one of the best scorers in the country and he will be the best player on the court in this game. 

Minnesota is coming off a thrilling 102-95 upset over the 4th-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes in a game they were 6.5-point underdogs in. While Carr will do plenty of work himself, he has some help. Center Liam Robinson and SF Both Gach average double-figures with the pair pulling in a combined 12 rebounds a night. Power Forward Brandon Johnson only averages eight points a night, but he’s a do it all guy that is all over the floor on both sides.

Spread Prediction

The Pick: Michigan State -2.5

While Minnesota looked great in their last game against Iowa, this matchup is worrisome. The Golden Gophers struggle when Marcus Carr struggles and the Spartans should be able to at least slow him down. He only scored 11 points in both of their games against the Spartans a year ago and they lost both of those contests handily. Aaron Henry and Joey Hauser are two of the best forwards in the country and Henry will rival Carr as the dominator of this ballgame. I like Michigan State to win this game by at least five points and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a bit of a blowout.

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Total Prediction

The Pick: Under 153.5
Final Score Prediction: Michigan State 77, Minnesota 67

If I like the Spartans to win this game, I have to like the under. They are the slower of the two teams and want to slow down the Golden Gophers here. Michigan State will put pressure on Marcus Carr and force others to beat them. I’m not sure I have the trust in any of the surrounding pieces to get it done if Daniel Okuru couldn’t do it last season. The under is the bet to make here, though I do like Michigan State against the spread even more.

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