Northwestern vs. Michigan State Prediction and Odds for Sunday, December 4 (Wildcats Claw Their Way to a Cover)

Northwestern Wildcats guard Boo Buie celebrates a made basket from the 2022 Big Ten Tournament.
Northwestern Wildcats guard Boo Buie celebrates a made basket from the 2022 Big Ten Tournament. / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Two of the top defensive teams in the Big Ten look to rebound after embarrassing losses in the ACC / Big Ten Challenge last week.

The Northwestern Wildcats travel to East Lansing after an atrocious performance at home against a terrible Pittsburgh Panthers team, allowing a season-high 87 points in a 29-point home loss to lose their second straight.

Meanwhile, the Spartans gave up 42 points in the first half to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, eventually falling 70-52 in South Bend.

Who will be first to their sixth victory of the season, and first win in Big Ten play?

Here are the best available odds for tonight's conference matchup from East Lansing.

Northwestern vs. Michigan State Odds, Spread and Total

With a projected total of 127-127.5, this has "rock fight" written all over it.

Northwestern, up until their blow-up against Pittsburgh last week had been elite of the elite on defense this year. I tend to think it was a one-off performance, and not something to truly worry about. They still rank ninth in the country in opponent points per game, as well as 10th in opponent effective field goal percentage, and have the best defense in the country in opponent two point shooting percentage, limiting teams to a putrid 37.6% from inside the line.

Michigan State will certainly be a challenge, although the Wildcats were up for it when they faced Auburn a few games ago in a 43-42 loss on the road. The Spartans have an adjusted efficiency offense ranked just outside the top 30 over at KenPom, and have been very solid shooting from long range at 36.5% from the season. However, the rest of their offensive numbers are very mediocre, and if they go cold, Northwestern won't let up.

If Michigan State makes shots from inside the line, this game will be over. If Northwestern's defense holds, they'll be in it until the end, and more often than not this year, that's what the 'Cats have pulled off.

Northwestern vs. Michigan State Prediction and Pick

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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.