Michigan State and Rutgers meet for the second time this season after Sparty won in East Lansig, 70-57 last month.
The Scarlett Knights will be staying nearby, but this won’t be the typical home game for Rutgers, who bolster an insane home court advantage at the RAC, as the teams are playing at Madison Square Garden.
Here are the odds for this Saturday afternoon showdown:
Michigan State vs. Rutgers odds, spread and total
Michigan State vs. Rutgers prediction and pick
Rutgers will take the short bus ride to MSG, and the hope is that their defense will travel, the second best one in the nation according to KenPom. While Michigan State’s capable at protecting the ball against the swarming Scarlett Knights defense with their two guards A.J. Hoggard and Tyson Walker, the team’s inability to score inside will hold them back.
Rutgers interior defense is fantastic, 13th in two-point defense and the team does a great job of forcing teams off the three-point line, allowing the 43rd lowest three-point rate in the country. This is a problem for Michigan State, who isn’t so efficient inside the arc and is reliant on their ability to hit three’s, the team shoots nearly 38% from beyond the arc this season, which offsets their bottom third two-point percentage.
If Michigan State is going to struggle to score, I believe Rutgers can generate enough offense to pull away in this one. The team is relentless on the glass, top 50 in the country, and the Spartans are bottom 15 in the country in forcing turnovers. Steve Pikiell’s group isn’t explosive on offense, but Michigan State’s inability to defend the rim is a concern, 208th in the country, per Haslametrics.
I think Rutgers is the better team, and even though this game is on a neutral court, I’ll side with the local team to get the job done and cover by a few buckets.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.