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Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Michigan State Spartans Pick, Odds, Prediction 1/18/14

Michigan State Spartans (16-1) at Illinois Fighting Illini (13-5)

College Basketball: Saturday, January 18, 2014 at 8:00 pm (State Farm Center)

The Line: Illinois Fighting Illini +4.5 -- Over/Under: 129.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: Big Ten Network

The Illinois Fighting Illini and the Michigan State Spartans face off on Saturday at Assembly Hall in Big Ten college basketball action.

The Illinois Fighting Illini looked to be cruising right along but of late they have dropped their last three games putting them at 2-3 in Big 10 play. UI has gone 9-1 at home and have played the 65th ranked schedule in the country. Rayvonte Rice is the Illini’s leading scorer averaging 17.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Tracy Abrams is averaging 12.7 points, Joseph Bertrand is averaging 11 points and 5.7 rebounds, and Jon Ekey is averaging 7.8 points and 6.0 rebounds. Illinois is averaging 69.7 points and they are shooting 41.8 percent while defensively they are allowing 63 points and their opponents are shooting 40.5 percent. Illinois has the talent but they are going to need to step up big here if they hope to stop the bleeding.

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Michigan State Spartans Pick, Odds, Prediction 1/18/14

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan State Spartans seem to always be a contender for the Final Four and this year doesn’t look to be any different. MSU is 5-0 in the Big Ten and has just one loss overall this year. Gary Harris leads the Spartans averaging 17.6 points per game. Adreian Payne is averaging 16.2 points and 7.7 rebounds, Keith Appling is averaging 16.1 points, and Branden Dawson is averaging 10.1 points and 8.9 rebounds. Michigan State is averaging 80.5 points and they are shooting 47.5 percent while defensively they are allowing 63.9 points and their opponents are shooting 37.7 percent. Michigan State looks as complete as any team in the nation.

Illinois is 7-3-2 against the spread in their last 12 home games, 1-3-1 against the spread in their last five games, and 2-6 against the spread in their last eight home games against a team with a winning road record. Michigan State is 7-1 against the spread following a win, 4-1 against the spread against the Big Ten, and 4-1 against the spread against a team with a winning record. The underdog is 6-1-1 against the spread in the last eight meetings of these two.

Not sure where this total comes from but this one looks like an easy over. My stronger play is on who will cover the spread and I will post that pick in the Premium Area as well as on the App. 

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Over 129.5

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