Georgia Bulldogs vs. Michigan State Spartans Free Pick 03/20/15


Play Michigan State Spartans -5.5. 

I’m recommending a play on Michigan State minus the points in Friday’s Big Dance tilt with Georgia.  The Spartans have won 10 of their last 14 games, but they don’t qualify as a suddenly hot team that fought their way into the Big Dance; we tend to look to go against some of those teams.  Michigan State is obviously used to being a Final Four contender and they’re not a team we worry about regarding the way they lost the Big-10 tourney championship.

The Spartans took Wisconsin to OT, only to get out-scored 11-0 in the extra period, losing 80-69.  There might be a little motivation to clean things up, but I believe the loss and the way it happened means little to a program that’s lasted deep into the Dance on many occasions.  Instead, I expect all attention and focus to be on the task at hand…beating Georgia.

Michigan State has the great guard I look for this time of season, in fact, they have three.  Travis Trice, Denzel Valentine, and Branden Dawson, combine to average over 41 ppg, while Trice & Valentine have combined for 326 assists in 34 games each.  The triumvirate will create matchup problems for Georgia at both ends of the floor.

Michigan State also works the glass as you’d expect with a Tom Izzo-coached team.  The Spartans average a +8 rebound margin per game!  Georgia has to be concerned after allowing 33 offensive rebounds in three of their last four games, combined. Georgia also forced just over 10 turnovers per game this season and we have seen Michigan State take care of the rock and find success against low-pressure opponents.  They have out-scored the opposition by an average of 71-62 in their last 27 games against teams that forces no more than 12 turnovers per game.

Simply put: I believe this is a very tough draw for Georgia, while the Spartans own the Big Dance tools we’re looking for in opening game action. I’m recommending a play on Michigan State minus the points on Friday.  Thanks & GL!  Scott Spreitzer.

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