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Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Michigan State Spartans - 2/22/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Michigan State Spartans (18-8) at Illinois Fighting Illini (17-9)

College Basketball: Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 7:30 pm (State Farm Center)

The Line: Illinois Fighting Illini +1.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: BTN HD

The Michigan State Spartans will travel to the State Farm Center to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini this Sunday night in College Basketball action.

The Michigan State Spartans improved to 18-8 (9-4 Big Ten) on the season after defeating the Michigan Wolverines, 80-67, this past Tuesday. Michigan State shot 62.0% from the field and 33.3% (6-18) from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Spartans was Branden Dawson who had 23 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 assists. Michigan State is ranked 31st in the RPI Standings and has played the 44th ranked SOS. On the season, the Spartans have been led by Denzel Valentine (14.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 4.2 apg) and Travis Trice (13.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 5.5 apg). Michigan State is averaging 72.3 ppg (ranked 61st) on 47.6% shooting (ranked 29th). The Spartans average 7.6 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.43 (ranked 13th). Michigan State is holding their opponents to an average of 61.4 ppg (ranked 58th).  on 38.8% shooting (ranked 24th). The Spartans pull down 38.73 total rpg (ranked 20th) and have a rebound margin of 8.2 (ranked 12th).

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Michigan State Spartans - 2/22/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Illinois Fighting Illini dropped to 17-9 (7-6 Big Ten) on the season after being defeated by the Wisconsin Badgers, 68-49, this past Sunday. Illinois shot 40.0% from the field and 36.4% (4-11) from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Fighting Illini was Malcolm Hill who had 15 points, 2 rebounds, and . Illinois is ranked 42nd in the RPI Standings and has played the 67th ranked SOS. On the season, the Fighting Illini have been led by Rayvonte Rice (16.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.1 apg) and Malcolm Hill (14.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.2 apg). Illinois is averaging 70.8 ppg (ranked 91st) on 42.6% shooting (ranked 228th). The Fighting Illini average 7.5 three-pointers per game (ranked 59th) and shoot 79.3% from the free-throw line (ranked 1st). Illinois is holding their opponents to an average of 63.1 ppg (ranked 92nd) on 41.1% shooting (ranked 97th).  The Fighting Illini pull down 34.38 total rpg (ranked 183rd) and have a turnover margin of 3.2 (ranked 20th).

The Spartans are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games and 12-5-1 ATS in their last 18 games following a ATS win. The Fighting Illini are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games.

Michigan State has won their last 3 games have looked great on the defensive end as their holding their opponents to 55.6 ppg in that span. Illinois had their 4 game winning streak snapped and struggled offensively as they were only able to force 4 turnovers against Wisconsin. Michigan State and Tom Izzo always seem to get it together towards the end of the season and I really like how the Spartans are getting it done on the defensive end. I think Michigan State contains both Rayvonte Rice and Malcolm Hill and that they cover this small spread. 

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Michigan State Spartans -1.5

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