Photo: flickr Writer: Eric Daniel
The Rutgers’ Scarlet Knights have been more competitive than they were a season ago, but this group also took advantage of a more manageable nonconference slate now standing 11-4 overall and 0-2 in the Big Ten. Rutgers has opened with back to back conference losses against Wisconsin on the road followed by Penn State the other day at home by a final of 47-60. Rutgers likes to play in the half court leaning on their defense as this group ranks 24th in the nation in total defense compared to 261st in scoring average. On the offensive end the Scarlet Knights have 4 players averaging in double figures with Mike Williams leading the way averaging 12.1 points per game.
The good news for Michigan State right now is they’ve gotten off to a great 2-0 start in Big Ten play with wins coming against Minnesota and Northwestern, and now their leading scorer Miles Bridges looks likes he’s ready for a return to action. Michigan State hasn’t lived up to their expectations so far this season, but perhaps this group can completely turn things around in conference play as they try to build their resume back up. MSU ranks similarly to Rutgers standing 97th in the nation in total defense and 227th in scoring average, although the Spartans have faced a tougher slate. Behind Bridges, Nick Ward has led the offense averaging 13.6 points per game.
Michigan State has been heading back in the right direction as they’ve heading into Big Ten play, but let’s not forget this is still a group that struggled a number of times at home during the nonconference against mid-major opposition. We’re not overly high on this Rutgers squad, but getting many points we like the road team as the better value bet.
Rutgers +13.5 -110