Things have been tough for preseason No. 1 team Michigan State, but perhaps a home date versus a team they have perennially dominated will do the Spartans right.
Iowa has just one straight up win in East Lansing the past 25 years and has covered the spread there once there since the start of the 2010-11 season.
Unlike past seasons, Iowa has the most versatile player on the floor in Luka Garza, who is playing his way into the national player of the year conversation with 23.7 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game. Beyond that, he’s 6-foot-11 and shoots 38 percent from 3-point range, which makes him exceptionally hard to guard.
Michigan State may have the antidote to shutting him down, though, as the team is fifth in the country in opponents’ field goal shooting percentage and eighth in 3-point shooting percentage defense.
The Spartans also counter with their own talented upperclassmen in Cassius Winston, who shoots 39.6 percent from 3-point range while notching 18.3 points and 5.7 assists per game.
The Spartans are also 41-19-1 against the spread at home since Winston has been on campus, while Iowa’s seniors are 11-29-1 against the spread in their careers on the road. Only Delaware State has a worse road cover rate in that time span.
Other than Northwestern and Nebraska, every Big Ten team has a cover rate above 53.2 percent at home this season, with the Spartans going 9-4 ATS at the Breslin Center.
The play: Michigan State, -7¹/₂.