After both of these teams lost to Michigan last week, this becomes a crucial game in the Big Ten standings. The third-place Iowa Hawkeyes look to keep close to the second-place Michigan State Spartans.
Both teams rate in the top 14 teams according to power rankings, and the computer likes the home team to win here.
Iowa opened as 5.5-point favorites, but the line was bet up a half point by mid-morning. The total was 150. (Line updates and matchup report details)
Why Michigan State can cover the spread
Resiliency. As banged up as the Spartans are, their bench proved they can step up for head coach Tom Izzo. Minus Branden Dawson (hand) and Adreian Payne (foot) and with star Keith Appling dealing with a sore hip and a painful wrist injury on his right shooting hand, they still were tied with Michigan with less than four minutes left.
Why Iowa can cover the spread
A home win tonight is critical if Iowa has aspirations of winning the Big Ten regular-season championship. The Hawkeyes (16-4 overall, 5-2 Big Ten) are aiming for a school-record 21st straight victory at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, and there might not be a better team to get motivated for than perennial favorite Michigan State.
The Hawkeyes have covered five of their last six games.
Michigan State dropped to No. 7, while Iowa climbed to No. 14 in this week’s Odds Shark college basketball power numbers.
The Hawkeyes are catching Michigan State (18-2, 7-1) at the right time, as the Spartans still are dealing will the absences of Dawson and Payne. Dawson broke a bone in his right hand last Thursday. Payne didn't play the past five games due to his foot injury. Missing both proved to be too much against Michigan on Saturday. Appling, however, plans to play against Iowa.
Against this deep and talented Iowa squad, not to mention the thought of Georgetown on deck Feb. 1, the Spartans are inevitably headed toward another conference setback. That’s what the computer says, and that’s what the oddsmakers believe.
The head-to-head trends point to an UNDER here.
- Michigan State is 8-3 against the spread in its last 11 games.
- Iowa has lost six straight and nine of 10 overall against the Spartans.
- Seven of past eight meetings here have played UNDER the total.