Purdue vs Michigan State
Only one team from the AP Top 25 Poll will take the floor Friday night, as the #23 Michigan State Spartans welcome their Big Ten rivals, the Purdue Boilermakers, at Breslin Center in Lansing, Michigan, with the tip-off at 7:00 PM ET.
The Boilermakers have dropped three of their last four games with all three defeats coming against the top-25 teams in the country. They’ve outlasted Maryland 73-70 as 6-point home favorites, so the Boilermakers are 0-4 ATS in their last four showings.
With a 7-5 overall record and 2-3 in the conference play, the Boilermakers head to Lensing as 4.5-point dogs. Last season, Purdue humiliated Michigan State 71-42 at home, and the Boilermakers are 4-2 SU and 4-1-1 ATS in their previous six matchups with the Spartans, but we are backing the hosts to win and cover this Friday.
As well as Purdue, the 8-3 Spartans are 2-3 in the conference play. They suffered three straight losses in December including an embarrassing 81-56 defeat at Minnesota, but the Spartans bounced back at Nebraska 84-77 and dismantled #15 Rutgers 68-45 as 3-point home favorites.
“We played Michigan State basketball. We defended, we rebounded, we ran.” pic.twitter.com/3GYAlZpRr8
— Michigan State Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) January 7, 2021
Neither Purdie nor Michigan State can brag with a stout defense, but both teams rank among the top-35 in the country in offensive efficiency, averaging just above 111.0 points per 100 possessions. Still, the Spartans play at a much faster pace than their next opponents, averaging 71.8 possessions per 40 minutes (65th in the nation).
On the other side, the Boilermakers record 67.0 possessions per 40 minutes (300th). They will try their best to slow down things, but we are not sure that will help a lot if the Spartans take care of the ball and execute offensively at a high level.
Purdue limited Iowa’s top-ranked offense to just 70 points. However, the Boilermakers scored only 55 in a return. They had a solid game at Rutgers but still suffered an 81-76 defeat as 1.5-point road underdogs. Purdue is 1-1-7 ATS in its last nine games overall.
We should see a hard-fought battle between the Boilermakers and Spartans. The hosts certainly possess more depth, but both teams can count on some top-notch players.
Forwards Aaron Henry (14.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 3.8 APG) and Joey Houser (12.0 PPG, 8.5 RPG) will lead the way for Michigan State, while Purdue will heavily lean on forward Trevion Williams (14.1 PPG, 9.6 RPG) and guard Eric Hunter (10.8 PPG, 3.8 APG).
College basketball pick – Michigan State by 3.
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