College Basketball Betting Preview: Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Michigan State Spartans – Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021

The 15th ranked Scarlet Knights (7-2, 3-2) will travel to East Lansing to take on the 23rd ranked Spartans (7-3, 1-3). Rutgers will be looking to bounce back from a 77-75 loss to Iowa in their last game.

Michigan State finally got a Big Ten win when they defeated Nebraska in their last game. The Spartans were off to an 0-3 in Big Ten play for since 2002.

Rutgers Betting Preview

After a scorching 6-0 start Rutgers has lost two of their last three, but both games came against ranked opponents. The Scarlet Knights got Ron Harper Jr. back from injury in their narrow loss to the Hawkeyes.

Harper is leading Rutgers in scoring (22.1) and second in rebounding (7.0). Harper is shooting 48.3% from behind the arc. Harper’s achilles heel came into play against Iowa, as he is shooting only 55.6% from the free throw line.

Jacob Young is also having a tremendous season for the Scarlet Knights. He is second in scoring (15.7) and first in assists (5.2) and steals (2.4). He is another reason that Rutgers is a top 25 team in three-point shooting as he is shooting 43.5% from behind the arc.

Rutgers is ranked 19th overall by Kenpom. The offense is 18th in efficiency and the defense ranks 27th.

Michigan State Betting Preview

The Spartans got off to a 6-0 start and it looked like Tom Izzo and Michigan State were headed for another good season and a shot at the Big Ten crown. Then Big Ten play started and the Spartans lost three straight to Northwestern, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Losing to those teams was not the end of the world, considering the quality of the conference, but the average margin of defeat being 16 points was troubling. But, if there is anything we know about Izzo coached teams, they always peak late in the season. I would not be surprised if this team finished in the top half of the conference by season’s end.

Aaron Henry has come on strong of late and leads the team in scoring (13.4), assists (4.1) and steals (1.6). Joey Hauser has become a solid number two option averaging 12.3 points and leading the team in rebounding at 7.9 per contest.

Kenpom has Michigan State as the 50th ranked team in the nation. The offense ranks 25th in efficiency while the defense is 80th.

Scarlet Knights/Spartans Betting Lines

MyBookie has Michigan State as 1.5-point favorites. The total is set at 152 points.

Free Betting Pick

This line looks to take into consideration the history of these two teams way more than it should. Michigan State is getting too much credit for the year’s past, whereas Rutgers is being punished for their basketball history.

I have this line projected at Rutgers -1. Harper Jr. is going to play and he will be the best player on the floor. I like Rutgers to win this one straight up.

Spooky Express Free Pick: Rutgers +1.5

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