Michigan State vs. Iowa Odds & Picks 2/22/22

by | Feb 21, 2022 | cbb

Michigan State Spartans (18-8 SU, 13-12-1 ATS) vs. Iowa Hawkeyes (18-8, 15-11 ATS)

When: Tuesday, February 22, 7 p.m.

Where: Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, Iowa

TV: ESPN

Point Spread: MIST +6.5/IOWA -6.5 (BetNow - Offers a 100% real cash bonus up to $1K!)

Moneyline: MIST +195/IOWA -250

Total: 153

Last Time Out:

Michigan State lost 79-74 to Illinois; Iowa beat Ohio State 75-62.

About the Matchup:

This swoon is starting to become a real problem for Michigan State, as the Spartans are just 4-6 in their past ten games and starting to look like a team that’s going to be one and done in the NCAA tournament. Michigan State really hasn’t looked like itself since mid-January, when the Spartans knocked off Wisconsin by double digits in Madison. Since then, the Spartans have gone 3-5 and taken losses to Penn State and Rutgers as well as Wisconsin and Illinois twice.

Meanwhile, Iowa might be hitting its stride. The Hawkeyes finally came up with a critical road win when they spanked Ohio State in Columbus, handing the Buckeyes their first home defeat of the year. Iowa’s been inconsistent throughout the season, but the Hawkeyes have won four of five in February and seem to have learned their lesson after allowing Penn State to drop 90 on them in University Park. Iowa’s defense will never win any prizes for shutting down opponents (this is, after all, the same team that allowed Maryland to score 87 and won the game by 23), but the Hawkeyes seem to have a more balanced approach figured out based on their recent play. If that’s the case, Michigan State could see its misery extended.

Scouting the Spartans:

When you’re favored in a game and you never once have the lead, that’s a problem. There’s no shame in losing to Illinois, but the way the Spartans did it is what raised eyebrows. Illinois led wire-to-wire, and Michigan State trailed by as much as 16 points in the second half before trying to rally too late and making the score look respectable.

The problem is that Michigan State seems to get up for certain games but plays pretty lackadaisical otherwise. If the Spartans don’t play up to their potential, anyone can beat them, with Penn State as a prime example. Against the Nittany Lions, the Spartans had Penn State done and dusted, only to watch as their hosts came all the way back and closed the deal. For whatever reason, Michigan State can’t get consistent play or aggression out of its forwards, as the Spartan forwards managed just 27 of the team’s 74 points against Illinois, and the team’s three starting forwards combined to get six rebounds for the entire game. This is a team that hasn’t found its fight, unusual for a Tom Izzo team.

Scouting the Hawkeyes:

So Iowa can win a game on defense after all, as the Hawkeyes showed by besting Ohio State in a game where they didn’t shoot the ball all that well. Iowa shot just 42.2% and 28.6% from deep against the Buckeyes, but it worked out because Keegan Murray played outstanding, and the Hawkeyes actually did their jobs on defense.

In fact, defense might actually be a better way for Iowa to play because the Hawkeyes are 3-1 SU in Big Ten play when they hit the under, as it’s usually a rare effort from the defense that causes the under to cash. For the most part, Iowa is actually not a good shooting team this year, but the Hawkeyes still rank fourth in the nation in points per game simply because they take so many shots that it doesn’t really matter if they miss a fair amount. As long as Iowa can avoid getting beat on the boards, Murray and company can do enough to get the job done.

Michigan State will Cover If: The Spartans can win the game with guard play. Michigan State’s forwards have been a real weakness all season, and Kofi Cockburn emphasized that by punishing the Spartans in the paint in Illinois’ win last time out. That said, the guard play has been very good from Michigan State, and if they can take and hit good shots, they’ll be fine.

Iowa will Cover If: The Hawkeyes can get Keegan Murray rolling and allow him to take over. Michigan State is really heading in the wrong direction, and having Murray get off to a fast start could get the Spartans in the wrong frame of mind to compete in this situation. Iowa can win this game in the first few minutes, or it could be a battle.

Dan’s Best Prop Bets

After not shooting well against Ohio State, Iowa will likely be in a mood to get out and run against Michigan State, and the Spartans will likely be more than willing to play along. As long as both teams are putting up points, the over should be in play here.

Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread

I don’t trust Michigan State much at all right now, and the public has a bit more trust in the Spartans than I do. With the line already moving half a point in Michigan State’s favor, I think I could get the Hawkeyes at an even better number than -6.5. Even if I can’t, though, I’ll take Iowa. Note: We highly recommend taking 5 minutes to learn how to bet on games for cheaper! Why pay -110 odds when you could be laying only -105? Check out our article on how to bet on games at reduced juice! You’ll be so glad you did!