A pivotal game will take place in the Big Ten Conference as two teams are both in desperate need for a win before the regular season ends. The Michigan State Spartans (17-11) will made the road trip to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers (15-14). Both teams look to improve their standing ahead of the Big Ten Tournament and gain momentum before the season concludes. Check out our college basketball odds series for our Michigan State-Nebraska prediction and pick.
The Michigan State Spartans will be heading into their 25th consecutive NCAA Tournament under Tom Izzo who, also, has never had a losing record as the Spartans head coach. They’ll be a projected 8-seed heading into the tournament and look like a dangerous team that can make deep moves if they get in the right headspace. They’re coming off two heartbreaking losses to Michigan and Iowa but will hope to capitalize as small favorites against Nebraska.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers won’t be making the tournament this year as they haven’t really impressed with their conference record. Despite numerous losing streaks throughout the season, the Cornhuskers are just now catching fire as they won their last four consecutive games. While they don’t have much else to play for this season, they’ll at least hope to give their fans a win in their last game at home.
Here are the Michigan State-Nebraska college basketball odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Basketball Odds: Michigan State-Nebraska Odds
Michigan State: -4.5 (-105)
Nebraska: +4.5 (-115)
Over: 138.5 (-115)
Under: 138.5 (-115)
How To Watch Michigan State vs. Nebraska
TV: Big Ten Network, Regional Coverage
Time: 9:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m. PT
*Watch college basketball LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why Michigan State Could Cover The Spread
Michigan State, at times, looks like a top-20 team in the nation with how well they play team basketball. It’s a brand that Izzo has prided himself on in years past; the lack of a singular superstar that forces his players to trust each other and share the basketball. It’s worked for the most part this year, especially in the first half. The Spartans continue to come out hot in the opening minutes and don’t let their foot off the gas until halftime. The second half of their games, however, is often a completely different story. The Spartans have led the majority of their games at half this season, only to squander their leads and lose games in the closing minutes.
Most recently, MSU gave up a 13-point lead to Iowa with 1:30 left on the clock. If they want to have any chance in the tournament, they can’t afford to go on long scoring droughts in the second half of games. That kind of play won’t cut it in March, and it may not work tonight if they underestimate this Cornhuskers team tonight. The Spartans will have to be smart with the basketball and move without the ball on offense. Their offense becomes stagnant at times, so it’ll be crucial for them to stay active and get open for good looks at the rim.
Why Nebraska Could Cover The Spread
Nebraska hasn’t been very good against the Big Ten this year, but their recent play has suggested that they’re in the hunt for a conference title. While it may be too little too late for the Cornhuskers, they continue to play hard and focus throughout their games, building a ton of momentum and experience for themselves as they look ahead to next year. They do a great job of taking high-percentage shots and not turning the ball over. While they don’t shoot very well from three, they’re very good at rebounding the basketball.
Nebraska is 11-3 at home this season and has covered to the tune of 9-5 ATS. They play very well on their home court and will be very motivated in their final home game. They lost to Michigan State in their first meeting of the season by double-digits in a game where the Cornhuskers were out-rebounded and only shot 12% from three. They’ll need better luck shooting and will have to be aggressive on the boards against a Michigan State team that has rarely rebounded well this season.
Final Michigan State-Nebraska Prediction & Pick
I predict Nebraska will come out strong in this game and score points early. The Spartans may find themselves playing catch-up early and will have to get hot from deep to hang in this one. While Nebraska is the hotter team right now, Tom Izzo is making this game seem like a do-or-die situation for his guys. They’ll have a ton of motivation heading in and will look to avoid another collapse. Let’s take the Spartans to bounce back.
Final Michigan State-Nebraska Prediction & Pick: Michigan State Spartans ML (-184)