Check out our free Michigan State vs Illinois pick and preview for this NCAA Basketball game in Champaign. See who we like to win and cover the spread in this College Basketball matchup.

Michigan State vs Illinois Pick & Preview: Friday, January 13th Betting Odds

Spartans vs Fighting Illini Matchup at a Glance

  • Sport: NCAAB
  • Teams: Michigan State Spartans at Illinois Fighting Illini
  • Where: Champaign at State Farm Center
  • Date: Friday, January 13th
  • Betting Odds: Michigan State +6, MST +203 | ILL -256 O/U 136.5

Spartans Preview:

Michigan State will take their 7 game win streak into today’s game. So far, the team has an overall record of 12-4. On the road, the Spartans will be playing their 5th game of the season, having gone 3-2. So far, the Spartans have been the underdog 4 times, going 2-2 straight up. Heading into today’s contest, they are the +6 underdogs on the spread.

Michigan State’s leading scorer this season is Tyson Walker, who is averaging 13.6 points per contest. So far, Walker has accounted for 19.41% of the team’s scoring. In addition, he is contributing 2.33 rebounds per game and 2.73 assists. Joey Hauser is the second leading scorer for the Spartans, averaging 13.47 points per game. Between him and Hauser, they are accounting for 38.6% of the team’s scoring.

Michigan State comes into their matchup vs Illinois looking to improve their offensive numbers, as they are just 168th in college basketball at 72.1 points per game. One bright spot for them has been their ability to knock down 3-point shots, as they have connected at a rate of 37.8%. So far, 33.37% of the Spartans’ shots have been from beyond the arc. When looking at the team’s pace of play, they are currently a below average unit at 66.4 possessions per game.

Fighting Illini Preview:

The Illinois will take the floor in today’s game in the middle of a 2 game win streak and have an overall record of 11-5. Currently, the Fighting Illini have been the home team 9 times, sitting with a record of 8-1. The Fighting Illini’s are sitting with a betting line that is -6 points in their favor. For the season, Illinois has been favored to win in 13 games, sitting with a mark of 9-4.

Illinois will be counting on another strong performance from the team’s leading scorer Terrence Shannon Jr. who is averaging 18.06 points per game for the Fighting Illini. Jr. is also important to the team’s ability to score on the perimeter. So far, he leads the team in 3-point shots made. Also key to the Fighting Illini’s offensive game plan is the play of Coleman Hawkins who has hit 45.2% of his field goal attempts on his way to averaging 10.12 points per game.

So far this season, Illinois has put together a strong scoring offense at 75.8 points per game (66th). This strong figure has come despite the Fighting Illini playing at a slow tempo compared to other schools. For the season, they have hit 36.7% of their shots from outside, which is closer to the NCAA average. Illinois’ overall field goal percentage currently sits at 45.3%

Free Spread Prediction: Michigan State Spartans +6

After running our analysis on this game, we’ve identified the best side to take on the spread. Currently, the oddsmakers have Illinois as the favorites with a line coming in at -6. However, based on how these team’s matchup, we see this number being too high and like the Michigan State Spartans to cover. Both team’s have knocked down the 3-point shot at a rate similar to the NCAA average this season with Illinois at 9.23 made 3’s per game compared to Michigan State at 7.18. Look for Michigan State to put together a strong enough defensive effort to cover the spread vs the Fighting Illini.


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