Michigan State vs. Virginia Predictions, Odds

  • December 9, 2020
  • By David Schwab
  • VegasInsider.com

This season’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge continues this Wednesday night with the No. 4 Michigan State Spartans on the road against the No. 18 Virginia Cavaliers at John Paul Jones Arena. Tip-off on ESPN is slated for 9:15 p.m. (ET).


Michigan State-Virginia Betting Odds

Line Movements

  • Spread: UVA -2
  • Money-Line: TBD
  • Total: 128.5

Odds Subject to Change

The Cavaliers head into this ACC/Big Ten clash as slight -2-point favorites on their home court. The betting line for the total is listed at 128.5 points.

Michigan State’s biggest straight-up win of the year was on the road against Duke as a +4-point underdog. The Spartans are a perfect 5-0 SU, with a 2-3 record against the spread. The total has stayed UNDER in two of their last three games.

The Spartans have a 2-1 edge (SU and ATS) in three previous games against Virginia. They have a SU five-game winning streak on the road. The Cavaliers lost ground in the national rankings after getting tripped up by San Francisco in their second game of the season. They are 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS with the total evenly split as well.

Going back to last season, Virginia is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games with the total staying UNDER in six of its last eight outings. It has a SU eight-game winning streak at home.


Betting Analysis – Michigan State Spartans

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 5-0
  • ATS: 2-3
  • SU - Home: 4-0
  • SU - Away: 1-0
  • O/U: 3-2

No. 4 Michigan State is just below Iowa as far as Big Ten teams in the national rankings. It jumped up a full eight spots in the latest Coaches Poll.

Leading the way in the perfect start is forward Joey Hauser with an average of 14 points and 10 rebounds a game. A close second in scoring is guard Rocket Watts with 13.6 points per game. Forward Aaron Henry is also scoring in double figures (11.6 PPG) while leading the team in assists with 6.2.

Overall, Michigan State is averaging 80 PPG and shooting 47.6% from the field. That drops to 35.1% from three-point range. Defensively, the Spartans are holding opposing teams to 68.6 points with 34.6 defensive rebounds.

Betting Analysis – Virginia Cavaliers

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 3-1
  • ATS: 2-2
  • SU - Home: 3-0
  • SU - Away: 0-1
  • O/U: 2-2

Known for their smothering defense, the Cavaliers allowed 64 points to Kent State their last time out. That game was decided in overtime. A stout defense has to be the key to victory against Michigan State.

On the offensive side of the court, Virginia has a trio of players scoring at least 11 PPG. Forward Sam Hauser is at the top of that list with 14.5 PPG. He is shooting 58.5% from the field. Jay Huff is the other starting forward and he is second with 12.3 points while connecting on 69.2% of his shots. Each of these players is pulling down 6.8 rebounds a game.

The Cavaliers have averaged 74 PPG through their first four games while holding opponents to 57.5 points at the other end of the court.

Inside the Stats – Michigan State Spartans

  • PS/G: 80 (77th)
  • PA/G: 68.6 (137th)
  • Off Rtg: 108.4 (90th)
  • Def Rtg: 93 (121st)

Inside the Stats – Virginia Cavaliers

  • PS/G: 74 (158th)
  • PA/G: 57.5 (26th)
  • Off Rtg: 117.5 (30th)
  • Def Rtg: 91.3 (108th)

Key Players to Watch

  • MSU - Joey Hauser (14 PPG, 10 RPG)
  • MSU - Rocket Watts (13.6 PPG, 4.2 APG)
  • UVA - Sam Hauser (14.5 PPG, 6.8 RPG)
  • UVA - Jay Huff (12.3 PPG, 6.8 RPG)

Michigan State-Virginia Predictions

Michigan State is in prime position to take down another ranked ACC team on the road. There are no apparent holes in this lineup while Virginia is still struggling to find a sense of consistency from one game to the next.

Winning on the road is never easy against a ranked opponent even if the stands are empty. I'm still giving the edge to Michigan State in a SU money line play.

I'm also expected to see this game stay UNDER the total line. The Spartans will have no problem slowing down the pace to accommodate Virginia’s preferred style of play.

  • Score Prediction: Michigan State 62 Virginia 56
  • Best Bets: Michigan State +2
  • Best Bets: UNDER 128.5

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