Texas Longhorns vs. Michigan State Spartans Pick-Odds-Prediction 12/21/13
Michigan State Spartans (9-1) at Texas Longhorns (10-1)
College Basketball: Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 4:00 pm (Frank Erwin Center)
The Line: Texas Longhorns +2.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Michigan State Spartans travel to Texas to play the Longhorns on Saturday.
The Michigan State Spartans improved to 9-1 on the year after beating North Florida 78-48 on Tuesday night. Michigan State averages 80.1 points per game which ranks 40th in the country and they rank 2nd in the country with 19.5 assists per game as a team. The Spartans are shooting over 48% from the field which ranks 44th in the country. Sophomore G Gary Harris leads the team with 17.6 points per game this season, while senior C Adreian Payne averages 16.6 points per game for the Spartans. Junior F averages 10.2 points per game and a team-high 9.1 rebounds per contest. Harris sat out for the third time in four contests due to an ankle injury, while Matt Costello missed his second straight gamer because of mononucleosis. Payne and Keith Appling have been playing through injuries and have had to sit out of some practices over the past couple weeks. Michigan State’s only loss came at home against North Carolina this season. This will be the Spartans first true road game of the year.
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The Texas Longhorns improved to 10-1 on the year after beating North Carolina on the road 86-83 on Wednesday night. Texas was the aggressor from the start, building a double-digit lead and staying in control nearly all game. Demarcus Holland finished with 15 points against the Tar Heels, who was held to 38% from the field. Texas shot 40% from the field and 38% from long distance. On the year, Junior F Jonathan Holmes is averaging a team-high 13.1 points per game while pulling down 7.1 rebounds per game this season. Freshman G Isaiah Taylor is averaging 12.1 points per game and a team-high 3.7 assists per contest. The Longhorns are a great rebounding team, pulling down 44.5 per game, which ranks 7th in the country so far this season. Texas, who averages 79.5 points per game, does not distribute the ball that well and they are shooting 44.4% from the field this season. This will be the Longhorns 8th home game of the year; Texas is 7-0 at home this season.
These schools have split eight all-time meetings. Texas is coming off a huge win at North Carolina and there could be a chance for a letdown in this spot. Michigan State is fighting injuries and will not have the depth that they are used to having in this ballgame. I think this game will be won on the defensive end and whichever team can control the glass. I think both teams will struggle to score inside the paint and will have to make shots from the outside to come away with the win. I'm going to take the points with the home team because I just can't trust the Spartans right now.