ES Predicts Izzo vs Bo: Sparty a 5 1/2 favorite to beat Wisconsin The Enlightened Spartan: ES Predicts Izzo vs Bo: Sparty a 5 1/2 favorite to beat Wisconsin

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

ES Predicts Izzo vs Bo: Sparty a 5 1/2 favorite to beat Wisconsin

Another big test vs. Wisconsin. Michigan State, at #10, is no surprise and they are beginning to hit their stride. The Wisconsin Bo-Weasels are their typical hard nosed self, with that ass of a coach helping to lead with Badgers to a surprise #17 ranking. The early -10 spread was a misnomer out of LSVC in Vegas; most lines have Sparty as a -5.5 favorite. That seems about right.

So, what's everyone saying about tonight's matchup (6:30 pm EST, Big Ten Network)?

Sportbooklists predicts an MSU win; Lansing State Journal predicts a 70-64 MSU win; Badgermaniac has their official prediction thread; Swingtown has Wisconsin 69-62. Bleacher Report calls this UW's "Game of the Year";

The ES sez? I've always been impressed by that Bohannon dude (10.0 ppg), he always seems to hit clutch shots for the Stinkin' Badgers. Trevon Hughes (16.5 ppg) vs Kalin Lucas should be sweet. The Badgers' Jon Leur (15.8 ppg) is an incarnation of Goran Suton. But... the Badgers aren't as deep, with six players averaging 20+ minutes, and MSU goes 9-10 deep with seven players average 20+ minutes per game.

Offense: MSU is leading the nation averaging a +10.3 on the boards - and averages 14.1 offensive rebounds a game compared to Wisky's 9.6 offensive rebounds per game. Add the offensive rebounding advantage to a FG % advantage of 50% for MSU and 47% for Wisky, and you get more touches and more opportunities for MSU to do damage.

Defense: On the other hand, Wisky's defense shows a bit more swagger, with opponents' Assist to Turnover Ratio of just 0.72 assists per turnover; compared to MSU's A-TO defense of 0.98 assists per turnover.

You get two styles here: run and gun of Michigan State vs the grind line of Wisconsin. But, a little more depth, a little more offensive efficiency with the help of offensive rebounding gives the Spartans the edge. Wisconsin is coming off an impressive win against ho-hum JoePa, while Michigan State is coming off its best game of the year in a blow out at upstart Northwestern.

ES predicts: Michigan State 73, Wisconsin 64. Halftime: MSU 32, Wisconsin 29.

See ya at the Brez!

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