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Wolverines, Spartans clash

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Tuesday College Basketball Game of the Day

Michigan (-1.5) vs. Michigan State
Total set at 131

The best conference in college basketball this year (Big 10) has a marquee game on the board tonight as Michigan and Michigan State renew their rivalry in East Lansing. Both find themselves ranked in the top 8 in the AP poll and whoever wins tonight would only add to an already very strong resume.

At #4, Michigan comes in as small road favorites and will look to establish the pace from the outset. The Wolverines love to run and push the ball up the court (77pts/game) and tend to struggle when the game turns into a grinding half-court battle. Two of their three losses this year came @ Ohio State and @ Wisconsin; teams that love to grind out possessions and make it an ugly affair. Michigan State is similar in that regards but with one big difference. They don’t mind playing a fast-paced game and if you want to run against them, they will happily do the same against you.

Michigan State has put up 70 or more in three of their last four games and won two of them (loss came to #1 Indiana). They know Michigan will want to run and can score with the best in the country so the Spartans will have to put up some points themselves if they want to come away with the win. They are more than capable of doing it and after splitting the season series last year, Michigan State knows they can hang with these guys.

But Michigan ranks in the top 5 in shooting percentage this year and are tied with NC State for first in average field goals made per game (28.6). When this team gets going look out because they will roll up points on you in bunches and the Spartans simply don’t have the scoring talent to keep up if that’s the case. Michigan has put that tough OT loss to Wisconsin over the weekend behind them (Wisconsin hit a buzzer beating 3-ball from half court to push it to OT) and will be more than ready to come out on fire tonight. That loss dropped the Wolverines to 8-3 SU in conference play, one-game behind Indiana and Michigan State at 9-2. They can ill-afford to lose tonight and should do enough to find a way to win in hostile territory.

Bet Michigan ATS here.

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