Big Ten Basketball Betting - No. 19 Maryland vs. No. 6 Michigan State

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Jay Ginsbach

January 21st, 2019

A Big Ten battle in East Lansing is set on Martin Luther King Day as No. 19 Maryland (16-3) takes on No. 6 Michigan State (16-2) on Fox Sports 1. Tipoff is at 6:30 ET for the biggest game of the night. Here is your Big Ten basketball betting breakdown!

The Line and ATS Results

Michigan State is a lofty 9.5-point favorite and the total is 147.5. The Spartans are 7-0 SU in Big Ten play and on a current 11-game winning streak while also riding a 7-0 ATS run. Michigan State is 14-4 ATS this season and the Spartans have won a remarkable 19-consecutive Big Ten games dating back to last season. Michigan State is also 9-0 at home this season with blowout wins over Northwestern, Iowa and most recently Purdue on Jan. 8. Maryland is on a 7-game winning streak, all against Big Ten opponents, and the Terrapins three losses this season were all by 5-points or less. That includes to previously No. 1 ranked Virginia and a 62-60 road loss at Purdue in early December.

First place is at stake with Michigan State 7-0 SU in Big Ten play and Maryland 7-1 SU.

The Matchups and Stats

Michigan State and Maryland are two of the top-3 teams in the country in rebounding margin, out-rebounding opponents by 11.6 and 11.1 per game. The dominance has continued in conference play when it comes to Big Ten basketball betting as the league’s top-2 rebounding teams. The Spartans are out-scoring Big Ten opponents by a remarkable 15.3 points per game.

A key match-up is on the perimeter, where Maryland leads the Big Ten in 3-point shooting at 41.8% while Michigan State allows a league-low 24.3% from beyond the arc. Surprisingly, both teams are at the bottom of the league in turnover margin, but Michigan State dominates the league with 19 assists per game led by PG Cassius Winston, the league leader in assists by margin with 7.4 per game in Big Ten play. Winston is also one of the league’s top scorers at 18.6 PPG, but he’ll be hounded by one of the league’s best defenders and also Maryland’s leading scorer in PG Anthony Cowan (19.9 PPG). Maryland guards Eric Ayala and Aaron Wiggins both shoot better than 46% from the 3-point line in Big Ten play.

The interior match-ups are most intriguing with Maryland having a pair of future pros in sophomore Fernando Bruno (13.4 PPG, 11.9 RPG) and freshman McDonald’s All-American Jalen Smith (12.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG), who can stretch defenses. But Michigan State has shooters, strength and size inside with Nick Ward (19.1 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 62.5% FG), Kenny Goins (10.7 RPG) and Xavier Tillman (62.5% FG). Michigan State’s scoring is down to 77 PPG since Joshua Langford went out with a foot injury five games ago.

Kenpom ranks Michigan State No. 5 in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency and No. 8 in adjusted defensive efficiency. The Spartans rank top-5 in the country in effective FG% offense and defense. Maryland ranks No. 12 and No. 40 respectively in adjusted offense and defense efficiency and plays at a slower pace than Michigan State.
Pts Off Pts Def Scoring Margin FG% Off FG% Def 3 pt Off 3 pt Def FT Assist
Maryland 72.0 64.9 7.1 45.5 41.3 41.8 33.0 79.6 11.5
Michigan St 79.0 63.7 15.3 49.7 35.4 33.6 24.3 77.0 19.0


Michigan State guard Joshua Langford has missed the last five games with a foot injury and remains sidelined. The Spartans reserve guard Kyle Ahrens (20 min/game) has missed the last three games with a back injury, and that's informing Big Ten basketball betting action overall.

The Picks and Bets

What a dominating run Michigan State is on, and it’s not easy to go against the Spartans at home. But the line is pushing up from recent results and Maryland is still playing so well. Maryland is Michigan State’s toughest opponent who can match-up inside plays sound fundamentally on both ends of the court. Mark Tuergon is one of the top coaches not often mentioned with MSU’s Tom Izzo and others, but the Terrapins at this price are worth a little play.

Big Ten Basketball Betting Free Picks – Maryland +9.0