Michigan State vs. Penn State: NCAA Betting odds, preview, and pick
Penn State will attempt to avenge December’s 80-64 beatdown by No. 19 Michigan State when the 9-12 Nittany Lions host the 18-6 Spartans Tuesday night, at 6:30 p.m. ET in Bryce Jordan Center.
Tue, February 15 2022, 11:30 PM
Nittany Lions suffer sixth loss in seven games
The 2021-22 season has been a tough ride for first-year Penn State head coach Micah Shrewsberry. His Nittany Lions just dropped their third straight game in a 76-70 letdown at Minnesota and have managed just one win — a 90-86 double-overtime decision against Iowa — since Jan. 16.
Penn State’s last three losses came by a combined nine points, while five of their past six matchups have been decided by seven points or fewer.
Three of the team’s recent close losses were to No. 5 Purdue, No. 15 Wisconsin, and No. 18 Ohio State, but their worst defeat to a ranked opponent occurred back on Dec. 11, in a trip to East Lansing.
During that 16-point thrashing, Penn State hung close with Michigan State in the first 16 minutes, which featured five lead changes and no lead larger than five points.
However, with 6:09 left in the first half and the Nittany Lions trailing 27-25, the Spartans went on a 15-4 run to go up 42-29 at halftime.
Tyson Walker has figured out exactly what Izzo wants. Get it and go. Full court. No one on Penn State has been able to stop him from getting to the rim.— Graham Couch (@Graham_Couch) December 11, 2021
Michigan State then opened with a 9-2 run in the second half, while Penn State went cold and missed four of its first five shots.
Spartans transfer Tyson Walker played a key role in Michigan State’s dominant win. The former Northeastern star had three steals and added 10 points and nine assists.
The team also owned a 31-3 advantage in fastbreak points over Penn State, who turned the ball over seven times and shot 42.9% from the field, including 25% from behind the arc.
Walker thrives in reserve role
On Tuesday night, Penn State will see Walker in a somewhat different role, as the junior guard will take a back seat to new starter A.J. Hoggard.
In Michigan State’s most recent outing, a 76-61 win over Indiana, Walker served as a reserve for the first time this season but seemingly found a spark in coming off the bench.
Following back-to-back losses to Rutgers and Wisconsin, head coach Tom Izzo opted for a lineup switch, after Walker scored just 10 points across those two matchups and recorded more turnovers (four) than assists (two).
As a reserve against Indiana, Walker bounced back to tie a season-high in points (15) and hit five of his 10 shots, including three of six 3-point tries.
Hoggard also performed well in his starting role and finished with 14 points, four rebounds, eight assists, and one steal, before he was ejected on his second technical foul of the game.
Michigan State vs. Penn State betting trends
- Michigan State is 6-2 against the spread in its last eight road games
- Penn State is 6-0 ATS in its last six home games
- Penn State is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games overall
- The Over is 5-1 in Penn State’s last six home games versus teams with a winning road record
- The road team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings
Spartans will carry new spark into rematch
Statistically, Michigan State is the superior team, ranking first in the Big Ten in free-throw percentage (76.8%) and blocks per game (5.6), second in 3-point percentage (38.6%), third in rebounds per game (38.1), fourth in assists per game (15.9), and fifth in field-goal percentage (46.1%) and steals (six per contest).
The Nittany Lions average a conference-low 65.3 points per game and 2.1 blocks per contest, while they rank 12th in field-goal percentage (43.2%) and assists per outing.
The team will be relieved to return home, after yet another crushing road loss, but Michigan State has too much riding on this game.
The Spartans face No. 12 Illinois on Saturday and get two more Top 25 teams in their next six games, with road dates at Iowa and Michigan sprinkled in. It's critical they get the job done against an inferior opponent on Tuesday, before a difficult stretch to close out the regular season.
Adding to the motivation, a victory in University Park will tie Izzo with Indiana legend Bobby Knight for the most wins by a coach at a Big Ten school.
While Tuesday's matchup should be closer than the December blowout at East Lansing, Michigan State and its new starting lineup will build off the momentum from last Saturday's win and deliver Penn State yet another grueling defeat.
Score prediction: Michigan State 70, Penn State 63
Michigan State vs. Penn State Pick powered by The Quant Edge
Our predictive engine is calling for the Spartans to win outright and for the score to go Over the projected total.