Illinois hosts Michigan State in Big Ten betting

By: Joe Freda | Monday, January 17, 2011

The No. 16 Illinois Fighting Illini a 3-2 spread record in their last five games, with the ‘over’ going 4-1.  Bruce Weber’s squad begins a two-game homestand with Tuesday’s duel against the No. 24 Michigan State Spartans, who enter the contest following two straight overtime wins.

Michigan State’s latest triumph in extra minutes came with Saturday’s 71-67 win as an 8 ½-point home favorite against the Northwestern Wildcats.  The Spartans came back from a five-point halftime deficit to tie the game, 60-60, before outscoring Northwestern in overtime, 11-7.

Spartans guard Keith Appling logged a team-high of 19 points, while adding four boards.  The team’s top three-point shooter (45.2 percent) drained 5-of-8 from beyond the arc.

Michigan State’s Draymond Green finished with 16 points and a team-high eight boards.  The junior forward hit 10-of-10 free throws, while adding two assists.

The tight affair’s combined 138 points stayed south of the 141 ½-point ‘total,’ bringing the ‘under’ to 5-1 in the Spartans’ past six games.  Michigan State allowed 45.3 percent of Northwestern’s field shots to connect, while outrebounding the Wildcats, 34-25.

The Spartans are 3-4 ATS in their first seven games away from home, with the ‘under’ cashing at 5-2.  Tom Izzo’s troops have put up 61.7 PPG in the last three contests of that stretch.

Illinois suffered its second loss in Big Ten Conference play with Saturday’s 76-66 defeat as a six-point road dog against the Wisconsin Badgers.  The Fighting Illini were held to 30.2 percent field shooting, while connecting on 30-of-36 free throws.

Fighting Illini guard Demetri McCamey notched team-highs of 23 points and five assists.  The senior hit a sparse 3-of-13 from the field, struggling after combining to shoot 52.2 percent over his prior five outings.

McCamey’s mate Mike Tisdale grabbed a team-high nine rebounds en route to finishing with eight points.  The team’s leader in blocks (1.4 BPG) failed to log one for the second time in three games, while draining 1-of-2 three-point shots.

The battle’s combined 142 points soared above the NCAA odds ‘total’ of 124.  Both squads finished even in rebounds (32-32) and turnovers (7-7).

The Fighting Illini are 6-3 ATS in their first nine ’board’ home dates, with the ‘over’ going 5-3 in the eight matchups containing a ‘total.’  Tisdale and Co. have allowed a stingy 62 PPG in their last two home duels.

Illinois is 3-1 ATS in its last four meetings against the Spartans, with the ‘total’ splitting at 2-2.

The Fighting Illini won last February’s matchup between the rivals, 78-73, as 1 ½-point home dogs.  McCamey hit 6-of-9 from three-point land for Illinois en route to a team-high 22 points.  Green logged a double-double for Michigan State, finishing with 17 points and 16 boards.

Tuesday’s tip is scheduled for 4 p.m. (PT), with ESPN providing the national television coverage.

Both teams will be off for three days until resuming action as part of Saturday’s college hoops card.  Michigan State will visit the No. 8 Purdue Boilermakers, while Illinois hosts the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes.

 
 
 
 
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