Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#681 Michigan State vs.
#682 Oakland University
Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 12:00pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala

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#681 Michigan State University
#682 Oakland
6-3
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It’s a battle of schools from the Great Lakes State when the Big Ten clashes with the Horizon League in the Motor City. The #15 Michigan State Spartans battle the Oakland Golden Grizzlies in non-conference action on the parquet floor Saturday afternoon. Michigan State comes in off a 77-65 home win over Rutgers in their last contest Sunday night in their Big Ten opener. Oakland was edged 68-65 on the road by Bowling Green in their previous game Sunday. The Spartans own a 17-0 edge in the all-time series between the teams, including a 99-69 win in the most recent matchup on December 21, 2018.

Michigan State Spartans Seek Second Straight Win

Michigan State opened conference play with a victory as they ground out a victory over Rutgers in their last contest. The Spartans now look to earn a second straight win as they take on the Golden Grizzlies in this contest. Michigan State trailed by one late in the first half before going on a 10-2 run that spanned the end of the first half and the start of the second half. After Rutgers clawed back to within two, the Spartans used a 6-0 run to extend to a 56-48 lead. The Scarlet Knights didn’t get closer than five the rest of the way. Michigan State shot 43.6 percent from the field, including seven of 21 from three-point range, and controlled the glass 40-32. The Spartans drained 22 of 27 free throw attempts in the win. Cassius Winston led Michigan State with 23 points and seven assists in the victory.

The Spartans enter this contest 54th in the nation in scoring offense with 79.8 points per game on the season. Michigan State is 75th in the nation in rebounding (39.8 rebounds per game) and fifth in assists with 18.6 dimes per game. The Spartans are in the middle of the pack defensively as they are 152nd in scoring defense by allowing 67.2 points per game on the year. Cassius Winston leads the team with 17.8 points plus 6.2 assists per contest. Xavier Tillman contributes 13.3 points plus 9.8 rebounds while Aaron Henry chips in 10.9 points per contest. Gabe Brown, Rocket Watts, Malik Hall, Marcus Bingham Jr. and Thomas Kithier are key contributors. Michigan State shoots 46.4 percent from the field as a team this season. The Spartans knock down an average of seven three-point field goals on the year while shooting 33 percent from beyond the arc. Michigan State is good at the charity stripe as they shoot 75 percent from the free throw line on the year.

Oakland Golden Grizzlies Hoping to Regroup

Oakland lost for the third time in four games as they were unable to come up with the win on the road over Bowling Green. The Golden Grizzlies hope to regroup with a victory here though the odds are stacked against them. Oakland trailed by as many as 13 in the first half and was down nine at halftime. The lead was 11 with 13:49 to play in the game but rallied to lead 63-59 with 1:41 to play. That was the high-water point as the Golden Grizzlies were outscored 9-2 the rest of the way. Oakland shot 46 percent from the field, including six of 20 from three-point range, and turned the ball over 15 times in the contest. Xavier Hill-Mais finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds in the loss.

The Golden Grizzlies are averaging 64.3 points per game, which is 352nd in the nation in scoring offense, so far this season. Oakland collects 39.1 boards per contest (96th) while dishing out 12 assists per game (tied for 295th) this season. The Golden Grizzlies have been tough defensively, allowing an average of 63.5 points per game, which is tied for 73rd in the nation for scoring defense. Xavier Hill-Mais leads the team with 15.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and two assists per contest on the year. Daniel Oladapo puts up 11.5 points plus 7.2 rebounds a night while Kevin Kangu chips in 8.3 points plus 4.1 boards a night. Brad Brechting adds 8.2 points plus 5.3 rebounds a night as a solid option. Oakland is shooting 43.3 percent from the field on the season. The Golden Grizzlies knock down an average of five triples a night while shooting only 28.2 percent from beyond the arc. Oakland is struggling at the free throw line as they are hitting only 66.8 percent at the line as a team.

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Oakland is struggling to put points on the board and that puts a lot of pressure on their defense to keep them in games. Michigan State has had their struggles this season and will be without Watts again with an injury, which is going to take a toll. However, the Spartans still have plenty of experience to work with and a star point guard in Winston to lead the way. Michigan State has had some close calls with Oakland before but has remained unbeaten against them. Look for Winston to lead the way to help Michigan State earn another win in this contest.

Prediction: Michigan State Spartans -17

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Michigan State has been solid this season as they have played tough defense this season. The Spartans are going to have to deal with a stiff Oakland defense that is capable of shutting down teams. Oakland has been very stingy on the defensive end and they are capable of making good teams look average offensively. The Golden Grizzlies are just 315th in the nation in three-point field goal percentage on the year and 254th in the nation in free throw shooting. Can Oakland find a way to hang in against a tough Michigan State team?

The under is 5-1 in the Spartans' last six Saturday games, 8-2 in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600 and 8-2 in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Oakland has seen the under go 5-0 in their last five on Saturday, 10-1 in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 and 9-2 in their last 11 after a straight up loss.

Prediction: 135
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.