Michigan State vs. Louisville – 11/27/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Predictions
Michigan State Spartans vs. Louisville Cardinals College Basketball Tuesday, Nov 27, 2018 (7:30pm est) Current Odds: Michigan St -5.5, Total Points 153.5
Michigan State Spartans Betting Trends:
Michigan State is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Michigan State is 6-12-2 ATS in its last 20 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Michigan State’s last 5 games
Michigan State is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Louisville
Louisville Cardinals Betting Trends:
Louisville is 2-3-1 ATS in its last 6 games
Louisville is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Louisville’s last 5 games at home
A pair of holiday tournaments netted drastically different records for Michigan State and Louisville heading into Tuesday night’s ACC-Big Ten Challenge Clash in Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center.
For Michigan State, a jaunt to Las Vegas proved lovely. The 5-1 Spartans jumped out to a 29-point lead on UCLA in the first half before rolling to an 87-67 win Thursday. Then on Friday, MSU shook off the struggles of the first half to crush Texas by 18 points in the second half in a double-digit win over the surprisingly good Longhorns.
Louisville (3-2) was 0-2 at the NIT Season Tip-Off event in Brooklyn. The Cardinals lost 92-81 to Tennessee on Wednesday and fell 77-74 in an overtime heartbreaker to Marquette Friday night.
“We played well in stretches, we played poor in stretches,” Mack said Monday. “I think just finding the ability to be consistent is what we’re searching for, both individually and collectively.”
But as opposite as the two teams’ trips were, both coaches are preaching the same thing going into Tuesday night’s clash — consistency.
“I think the biggest thing is our consistency,” Michigan State junior guard Joshua Langford said. “We’re trying to understand that in order to be a great, high-level team, you have to put together 40-minute basketball games and understand it’s not gonna be perfect. But if you control you attitude, your effort and your focus for the full 40 minutes of a game, or at least as much as possible, you can put together a great game.”
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In addition to more consistent effort, Mack knows his Cardinals are going to have to play tougher to match the intensity level of Michigan State.
“Everything about Michigan State oozes toughness,” Mack said. “Their identity is the same every year. They’re hard-nosed, they’re going to play together, they’re going to play with passion and there’s a toughness about them on both ends of the floor.”
While Mack is preaching toughness, Izzo is preaching ball security. The Spartans gave up 14 more turnovers than Texas and are averaging 14.1 turnovers per game.
“The turnover thing is, I don’t know. I can’t figure out what happened in that first half against Texas,” Izzo said. “We had been doing a great job with our turnovers for three, four games in a row. I didn’t think we came out ready, and that’s my fault. But I also thought that the athletic ability and the length of Texas bothered us. We weren’t used to that and so after that poor start, I thought we got better.”
Louisville’s defensive system under Mack is drastically different than the old pressure style defense of Rick Pitino. Under Mack, the Cardinals are playing pack-line, and they are still learning. Tuesday night will be a major test.
While Michigan State is favored by five points, the Cardinals will have homecourt advantage.
“We have to go in do our jobs and play Michigan State basketball,” Langford said. “You can’t make too many mistakes in an area like that, especially when the other team has home-court advantage. The way the crowd gets into it, it’s hard to come back.”
411Winners Pick and Prediction: Louisville +6 (-120)