In their final home game of the season, the No. 20 Penn State Nittany Lions (21-8, 11-7 Big 10) host the No. 16 Michigan State Spartans (20-9, 12-6 Big 10) at Bryce Jordan Center. The game starts at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, and will air on ESPN.
Michigan State Spartans vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Free Prediction
In the Spartans’ last contest, they topped the No. 9 Maryland Terrapins, 78-66. Michigan State’s offensive rebounding percentage was their largest strength over Maryland. The Spartans had a rate of 33.3 (above their season average of 32.7), while the Terrapins posted a mark of 26.5 (below their season average of 32.0). Michigan State rallied around Xavier Tillman, who put up 14 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.
The Nittany Lions lost to the No. 18 Iowa Hawkeyes in their last outing, 77-68. Converting at the free throw line was one of Iowa’s largest strengths. They were 14-17 (82.4 percent), while the Nittany Lions were just 6-10 (60.0 percent). With 20 points on 8-for-16 shooting, Lamar Stevens was Penn State’s leading scorer.
Points could be at a premium as two of the country’s best defenses face off. Penn State ranks 58th in defensive efficiency (95.1) and Michigan State is 30th (93.3).
This will be the second game of the season between these two teams. Cassius Winston scored a game-high 25 points in the first matchup, in which the Spartans lost 75-70. The Nittany Lions had a much better turnover percentage (11.2 vs. 19.8) and had a better offensive rebounding percentage (27.5 vs. 23.3).
Michigan State Spartans vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Free Pick
College Basketball Prediction: ATS Winner – Penn State, O/U – Under
Michigan State averages 40.7 rebounds per game, which ranks ninth in the country. Penn State ranks 239th in rebounds allowed per game (37.4).
The Nittany Lions rank 81st in three pointers attempted per game (24.1) while the Spartans rank 202nd in three pointers allowed per game (22.8).
Penn State ranks 18th in blocks per game (5.0) while Michigan State ranks 130th in blocks allowed per game (3.5).
The Spartans rank second in assists per game (17.8) while the Nittany Lions rank 90th in assists allowed per game (11.8).
Penn State ranks 53rd in steals per game (7.7) while Michigan State ranks 86th in steals allowed per game (6.1).
The Spartans’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 7.0, down from 11.3 for the season.
During their last five games, the Nittany Lions have scored an average of 65.2 points per game (10.2 below their season average) and allowed an average of 66.4 points per game (1.0 below their season average).