Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:00 PM EST odds are subject to change.
Breslin Center, East Lansing, MI
Michigan State +148 over Purdue
2:30 PM EST. We backed the Spartans in a tough luck loss at Illinois on Friday night, but we will not be deterred from coming right back on them here tonight, with a chance to make a statement against a ranked invader on national television. It’s the third Monday in January, which means it’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day south of the border, so there is going to be action to be had from noon till midnight. This game is going to be on FOX, which means there are going to be a ton of eyes on it. Everybody with a TV and an antenna has FOX, you don’t need a fancy setup. Point being, millions more people have a station like FOX, rather than ESPN or FS1.
Sparty was a 6½-point pooch in Illinois, but they led for much of that game. Anyone that backed the Illini and cashed their tickets should be thanking their lucky stars. If you had Michigan State +6½, you deserved a better fate. Because of that most recent result, the Spartans are being disrespected here at home where they are an underdog. We’d argue they should be favored here despite their opposition coming into this one ranked #3 in the nation.
Every Monday, we see nearly the same headline over at ESPN, and it looks something like this—
There are big upsets nearly every night in college hoops, which suggests there are no dominant teams at the moment. The talent pool across Division I is so deep, and just about every team has at least one or two solid shooters. In the case of the Spartans, it’s not like we're talking about some plucky mid-major. This is a classic Tom Izzo-built team that has a veteran presence with the starting five all suiting up for Michigan State last season. In the transfer portal age, keeping that level of consistency is not easy, nor should it be ignored. Sparty is battle-tested after playing the ninth toughest schedule in the nation, but they are flying under the radar with their 12-5 record. This is a program that is undervalued, but that might not last long.
Purdue is 16-1, but they have not played as tough a schedule as Michigan State. Moreover, the Boilermakers’ non-conference schedule ranks 91 spots behind the Spartans (52). We’re not going to crack on Purdue for beating ranked Gonzaga and Duke back in November, but we’ll point out that those games played two months ago mean little now. Right before the riggers of B1G play, Purdue was feasting on cupcakes like New Orleans and Florida A&M. When you play cupcakes, you get soft. Purdue could be the next “great” team to go down. Sparty outright is the call.
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Michigan State +148 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.96)