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Michigan State Spartans vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Pick, Odds, Prediction 3/1/14

Illinois Fighting Illini (16-12) at Michigan State Spartans (22-6)

College Basketball: Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 4:00 pm (Breslin Center)

The Line: Michigan State Spartans -11 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN2

The Michigan State Spartans and the Illinois Fighting Illini face off on Saturday in East Lansing in Big Ten college basketball.

The Michigan State Spartans are just 4-5 in their last nine games but they sit firmly in second place in the Big Ten. Michigan State is 1104 in the Big Ten, 11-3 at home this season, and they are ranked 18th in the nation. Gary Harris leads the Spartans averaging 17.9 points per game. Adreian Payne is averaging 16.4 points and 7.7 rebounds, Keith Appling is averaging 13.6 points, and Denzel Valentine is averaging 8.3 points and 6.3 rebounds. Michigan State is averaging 77.3 points and they are shooting 47.2 percent while defensively they are allowing 65.8 points and their opponents are shooting 39.5 percent. Michigan State is looking to get some momentum going for the post season.

Michigan State Spartans vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Pick, Odds, Prediction 3/1/14

Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Spor

The Illinois Fighting Illini have won their last two games but it is way too little and way too late to salvage their season. Illinois is 5-10 in the Big Ten, 6-7 away from home, and 0-6 against teams ranked in the top 25. Rayvonte Rice is averaging 16 points and 6.0 rebounds to lead the Illini. Tracy Abrams is averaging 10.9 points, Joseph Bertrand is averaging 9.5 points, and Nnanna Egwu is averaging 7.0 points and 6.1 rebounds. Illinois is averaging 65.5 points and they are shooting 40.5 percent while defensively they are allowing 62.6 points and their opponents are shooting 41.5 percent. Illinois is hoping with a strong finish Illinois is hoping to have some kind of post season.

Michigan State is 5-2 against the spread against the Big Ten, 4-0 against the spread following a loss, and 13-6 against the spread in their last 19 games. Illinois is 4-9 against the spread in their last 13 games, 1-3-1 against the spread following a game that they covered the spread, and 16-34-1 against the spread against the Big Ten. The underdog is 6-2-1 against the spread in the last nine meetings of these two.

March is usually Michigan State’s time of year but I have trouble laying this number with the Spartans playing this poorly. 

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Illinois Fighting Illini +11

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