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Michigan State vs. Penn State NCAAB Odds and Preview – February 14th, 2024

By Hank Blaine

Michigan State was a preseason Top 5 team in the polls but has not played up to expectations for the most part, with MSU not that far from the NCAA Tournament bubble. A loss at mediocre Penn State on Wednesday in Big Ten action could shift Sparty to the wrong side of said bubble.

Penn State tries to avoid the season sweep vs. Michigan State, as it lost 92-61 in East Lansing on Jan. 4. MSU hit 36 of 64 from the field (56.3%) and knocked down 10 of 21 from beyond the 3-point arc while collecting 25 assists and making 13 steals. The Nittany Lions collectively hit 20 of 62 from the field (32.3%) and were just 3 of 29 from deep.

Michigan State Spartans vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Game Information

Why Bet on the Michigan State Spartans?

Michigan State (15-9, 7-6 Big Ten) comes off one of its best wins of the season, 88-80 over No. 10 Illinois on Saturday in East Lansing. The game featured 15 ties and 16 lead changes. The Illini led, 33-25, with just under six minutes to play in the first half before MSU went on a 14-2 run to take a 39-35 lead with two minutes left before the break.

The Spartans held a 44-41 advantage at the half, but the Illini used a 12-2 run of their own to turn a 62-60 deficit into a 72-64 lead at the 7:38 mark of the second half. Illinois’ offense hit just one more field goal in the contest, Justin Harmon’s layup with 22 seconds to play, as MSU closed the game on a 24-8 run to seal the win and snap the Illini’s three-game Big Ten win streak.

A.J. Hoggard tied his career-high with 23 points for MSU, hitting 12-of-13 shots from the free throw line, and added five assists and no turnovers. It was his first 20-point game of the season and sixth career. Malik Hall had 22 points and five rebounds, Tyson Walker finished with 19 points, three assists, two rebounds and two steals, and Jaden Akins added 10 points, six rebounds and two assists.

Michigan State shot 52.7 percent from the floor (29-of-55), including 57.7 percent in the first half (15-of-26). The Spartans went to the free throw line 34 times, connecting on 73.5 percent (25-of-34). Illinois had been out-rebounding teams by nearly 10 boards per game (9.8) and the teams each finished with 33 rebounds. MSU forced nine turnovers from Illinois (5 in the second half) and out-scored them, 13-3. The Spartans out-scored Illinois, 23-9, in fast break points.

“We went into the game with this in mind: We have to rebound with them; it ended up tied,” Coach Tom Izzo said. “:We can’t turn the ball over; we had six. We gotta get to the free-throw line more than them – because they get there an enormous amount – we had 34 to their 20. I was surprised that we were only 5-for-8 from the 3, but was some of it calculated? It was. We said we’re gonna go inside until they don’t and we got some shots in there. Still got 55 shots with all those free throws, and that’s what happens when you don’t turn the ball over.”

MSU is 7-0 when shooting above 50 percent from the field this season and 20-6 when holding its opponent below 50 percent shooting (26-of-60). The Spartans are 14-2 when out-shooting their opponent and 13-4 when forcing more turnovers. Sparty is now 3-3 in games decided by 6-10 points and 4-6 in games decided by fewer than 10. It is 8-0 when scoring 80 or more points and 13-3 when scoring at least 70.

Dating back to last season, Walker has scored in double figures in 35-straight games, the longest streak of double-scoring games under Izzo. Walker now has 1,236 career points at MSU and is 32nd all-time in scoring at Michigan State. He moved past Adreian Payne (2010-14) for 32nd place and needs seven points to pass Stan Washington (1963-66) for 31st all-time.

Why Bet on the Penn State Nittany Lions?

Penn State (12-12, 6-7) can only play spoiler at this point, but is very tough to beat at home for the most part. The Wildcats had a three-game winning streak snapped Sunday in a 68-63 loss at Northwestern as the Wildcats swept the regular season series over the Nittany Lions for the first time since 2012. After Penn State grabbed a lead early in the second half, Northwestern took a 34-33 lead with 16:20 remaining in regulation and never trailed.

The Penn State defense held the Wildcats to a season-low 31.7 FG%, but Northwestern was 81.5 percent (22-27) from the free throw line. The Nittany Lions recorded a season-best 10 blocks, including five from Qudus Wahab.

Ace Baldwin Jr. collected his 250th career steal in the loss. Baldwin Jr. is the only active Division I player to have amassed 1,000+ points, 500+ assists and 250+ steals. The senior finished with 17 points, eight assists, five rebounds and two steals Sunday.

Penn State enters Wednesday’s game averaging 76.0 points per game in Mike Rhoades’ debut season. That mark is on track to be Penn State’s best offensive output since the 2000-01 team averaged 76.8 points per game en route to a Sweet 16 appearance. The Nittany Lions have forced their opponents into 15.42 turnovers per game, a mark that leads the Big Ten and ranks 19th in the nation.

Michigan State vs. Penn State Betting Trends

  • Michigan State is 10-4-1 ATS in the last 15 games.
  • Spartans are 6-2 SU in its last 8 games.
  • The total went under in 6 of Michigan State’s last 9 games.
  • Penn State is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 games.
  • Nittany Lions 2-4 SU in its last 6 games played on a Wednesday when playing at home.
  • The total went over in 15 of Penn State’s last 20 games.

Michigan State vs. Penn State Expert Prediction

Michigan State 72, Penn State 70.

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This is just one of the many sports betting guides that you can read here at Nitrobetting news. Stay tuned for more 2023-24 NCAAB season previews and articles, and don’t forget to check out the latest college basketball betting odds on our online Bitcoin sportsbook.

*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.

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