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How to watch, what to bet for No. 22 Penn State vs. No. 16 Michigan State tonight

The Nittany Lions head to East Lansing to take on the Spartans.

Michigan State Spartans guard Cassius Winston dribbles the ball as Wisconsin Badgers guard Brevin Pritzl defends at the Kohl Center. Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

With the Big Ten being one of the best conferences in the country, each game between its top teams will have major effects on the seeds in March. Let’s deep dive two excellent teams in Penn State and Michigan State before they face each other in the best college basketball game tonight.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

Penn State-Michigan State will be live on the Big Ten Network at 8 p.m ET. It’s also available on the BTN app and for streaming.

Records & Stats

Penn State: 16-5, 6-4 Big 10, 24 NET
Michigan State: 16-6. 78-3 Big 10, 10 NET

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Current lines from DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Michigan State -8.5
Total: 145.5
Money line: Baylor -435

The Michigan State Spartans are picked to win, but the 8.5 points for the Penn State Nittany Lions seems like too many for 60% of ticket buyers and 62% of the money on this game.

PSU looks like they’re finally going to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011 and the first under head coach Patrick Chambers. They’ve won four straight, and have three Top 25 wins already. The Big 10 is so loaded this year that they’ll also have plenty of opportunities to add even more Q1 wins.

They have been doing it with defense, as the 9th-best team in America stopping two-point baskets. Lamar Stevens from Philadelphia has been the bellwether, posting 16.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per contest this season. Look for guard Myreon Jones to matchup defensively with Cassius Winston of MSU.

Michigan State is doing that thing they do this time of year, which is playing tougher than ever. Despite a one-point loss at Wisconsin last time out, Tom Izzo and his charges have only lost one home game (Duke in December), and have turned the Breslin Center into a fortress in conference play. Senior guard Winston gives them the presence they need in the backcourt, with 130 career games played already at over a 42% clip from three-point range. He’s also the leading distributor at 5.7 assists per game this season.

But as usual, Sparty does it defensively: they’re holding B1G opponents to just 37.8% from the floor and 27.3% from downtown.

The Pick: Michigan State -8.5

If this was on a neutral floor, it’s Penn State with the wood for sure. But Penn State has struggled on the road (lost by 32 at Ohio State, 11 at Rutgers, 6 at Minnesota), and as we said MSU is really tough in front of the Izzone.

With this being a midweek game, despite the big number, we’re leaning towards MSU. Mark Dantonio retiring today might make it even more emotional inside one of the best home courts in college basketball as well.

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