Sunday's Tip Sheet
January 26, 2013
By David Schwab
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The Big Ten takes center stage this Sunday in men’s college basketball with a pair of matchups that could go a long way towards deciding which team come away with the regular season conference title. The following is a brief betting guide for both showdowns along with a look at the top matchup in the ACC on Sunday’s slate.
Big Ten Showdowns
No. 13 Michigan State Spartans at No. 7 Indiana Hoosiers (CBS, 1:00 p.m. )
Michigan State has strung together six straight wins including a huge 49-47 victory over Wisconsin this past Tuesday as a five-point underdog on the road. The Spartans are first in the Big Ten at 6-1 and 17-3 straight up overall. They are 3-2-1 against the spread in the last five games but just 6-10-1 ATS overall. The total stayed UNDER in three of the last five games.
The thing that makes Michigan State so dangerous is solid depth on the bench and balance on offense with five different players averaging at least nine points a game. As a team, it is averaging 69.2 points a game while shooting 46.4 percent from the floor. Even better, has been a defensive effort that is holding opponents to just 57.8 points a game.
Indiana remains a legitimate contender to win the conference this season with a 5-1 record out of the gate. It bounced back from a 64-59 loss to the Badgers on Jan. 15 as a 10 ½-point home favorite with routine double-digit victories over Northwestern and Penn State in its last two games. The Hoosiers are 17-2 SU but after failing to cover in six of their last seven games, they have fallen to 9-8 ATS on the year. The total has stayed UNDER in five of their last six games.
While Indiana has given-up a few more points a game (59.9) than the Spartans, it has won the majority of its outings by simply outscoring everyone with an average 83.7 points, which is the second-highest total in the nation. Player of the Year candidate Cody Zeller has led the way with 16.4 points and 8.2 rebounds a game, however the Hoosiers also boast solid depth with four other players averaging at least 10 points a game.
The Wolverine has won six of the last seven meetings SU while holding a slight 4-3 edge ATS. The total has stayed UNDER in four of the last six games.
No. 2 Michigan Wolverines at Illinois Fighting Illini (Big Ten Network, 6:00 p.m.)
After Duke’s shocking 27-point loss to Miami earlier this week, the Wolverines are poised to move into the No. 1 spot in the nation with a victory on Sunday. They took care of business this past Thursday night with a 68-53 romp over Purdue in a game that ended as a PUSH. Michigan heads into this matchup 18-1 SU overall and 10-6-1 ATS. Its only setback so far was a 56-53 road loss to Ohio State on Jan. 13 as a two-point underdog. The total has stayed UNDER in three of its last five games.
What makes Michigan one of the top teams in the nation is the ability to shoot the lights out of the ball with a 50.9 shooting percentage from the field. It is hitting 41.1 percent from three-point range and 71.3 percent from the foul line. Heading up this performance is the duo of Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. The backcourt has combined for 34 points, 8.2 rebounds and 9.8 assists. Glen Robinson III leads the team in rebounds with 5.9 a game while chipping-in another 12.1 points.
Illinois has the unenviable task of trying to pull off the upset with a team that has just three victories in its last eight games. It did knock-off Nebraska by 20 points its last time out as a five-point road favorite but that was just the second time it covered in its last nine games. The Fighting Illini are 15-5 SU overall with a 6-10 record ATS. They are now 2-4 both SU and ATS in conference play and the total has stayed UNDER in five of those games.
Given that Illinois is averaging 72.8 points a game but shooting just 43.1 percent from the field, it is going to need a monster performance from Brandon Paul this Sunday. He leads the team with 18 points and 4.8 rebounds and is second in assists with three a game. Overall, the team has not only struggled to consistently shoot the ball from the field it is hitting 33.6 percent from three-point range and has had trouble under the boards with 35.4 rebounds a game.
Michigan is 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings and the total has gone OVER in the last two games between the two.
ACC Game of the Day
Florida State Seminoles at No. 25 Miami Hurricanes (ESPNU, 6:00 p.m.)
The Seminoles snapped a two-game skid this past Thursday with a 60-57 victory over Clemson but they could not cover as five-point favorites at home. They are now 11-7 SU on the year and an even 8-8 ATS. The total has stayed UNDER in their last three games after going OVER in their previous five. The main thing that Florida State has going for it coming into this matchup is a defense that is giving-up 66.6 points a game but holding its opponents to shooting just 41.1 percent from the field.
Miami is riding high after taking down the No. 1 team in the nation in a game that was never even close. The win over Duke improved its record to a perfect 5-0 in conference play while opening-up a two-game lead in the ACC. Overall, the Hurricanes are 14-3 SU and a very profitable 11-3 ATS. They have been perfect at home with eight-straight victories and a 6-0 record ATS in games with a posted line. The total has stayed UNDER in 10 of their last 12 games. Sunday’s state showdown should be a great defensive battle considering that Miami is allowing just 58.7 points a game while holding teams to shooting 36.9 percent from the floor.
The Seminoles are 8-2 SU in the last 10 meetings but Miami holds the slight edge ATS with a record of 4-3-3. The total has gone OVER in six of those games.