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Michigan State vs Nebraska Odds, Picks & Predictions (Dec. 10)

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in College Basketball

Updated Dec 11, 2023 · 6:27 PM PST

Michigan State's Tyson Walker shouts instructions
Michigan State's Tyson Walker calls out to teammates during the first half in the game against Wisconsin on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023, at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.
  • Michigan State visits Nebraska with both teams looking for their first Big Ten wins of the season
  • Tom Izzo’s Spartans have won 11 straight games over the Cornhuskers, dating back to 2016
  • See the Michigan State vs Nebraska odds and picks for Sunday, Dec. 10

Two teams needing to right the ship meet in Big Ten play on Sunday as the Michigan State Spartans (4-4, 0-0 away, 3-5 ATS) visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-2, 6-1 home, 5-4 ATS) at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, NB, at 6:30 pm ET. Nebraska, which started 7-0 for the first time in three decades, has dropped two straight entering Sunday, while the Spartans are coming off their second home loss of the season already, a 70-57 setback to Wisconsin which dropped them to 0-1 in conference play.

Despite MSU’s early struggles, the Spartans are listed as 3.5-point road favorites.

Michigan State vs Nebraska Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Michigan State Spartans -3.5 (-110) -170 O  141.5 (-110)
Nebraska Cornhuskers +3.5 (-110) +145 U 141.5 (-110)

Nebraska is a +145 moneyline underdog in Sunday’s NCAA basketball odds while the total is 141.5. Michigan State has been one of the best under teams so far this season, sitting at 1-7 O/U. The Huskers are 4-5 over/under including two straight unders.


Odds as of Dec. 10 at ESPN Bet

The Spartans were among the top-ten March Madness favorites as recently as last week but have since faded to +4000, which is barely in the top 20. Nebraska isn’t considered a credible title threat, but does have cautiously-optimistic +2600 odds to win the Big Ten, ahead of Iowa, Michigan, Penn State, and Minnesota.

Nebraska’s 7-0 Start a Distant Memory

Now in his fifth season with the team, head coach Fred Hoiberg’s win percentage has improved during each of his first four years with Nebraska. The Huskers went 16-16 last year and looked like a good bet to finally finish over .500 this year, but back-to-back losses have taken some of the shine off their early-season success.

The Cornhuskers were annihilated 89-60 at home by in-state rival Creighton on Dec. 3 and then fell 76-65 on the road to Minnesota in their Big Ten opener on Dec. 6. The loss to the Gophers will carry an acute sense of regret; Nebraska led by 15 at halftime but allowed Minnesota to open the second half on an 18-2 run.

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After losing two of his top-three scorers and rebounders from last year’s team to graduation – Derrick Walker (13.6 PPG, 7.1 RPG) and Sam Griesel (12.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG) – Hoiberg turned to the transfer market and found two immediate contributors in Charlotte’s Brice Williams (14.0 PPG, 4.8 RPG) and Bradley’s Rienk Mast (12.9 PPG, 9.1 RPG). Along with junior Juwan Gary (13.8 PPG, 5.5 RPG) and sophomore Keisei Tominaga (13.9 PPG, 2.1 RPG), the transfer acquisitions are two of four Huskers averaging in double-figures.

Spartans Heavily Reliant on Walker

The 2023-24 Spartans have, up to this point, been a one-man Tyson Walker show. The 6’1 senior is averaging 20.7 points – more than double any of his teammates – along with 3.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.  Izzo would have been hoping for more out of senior guard AJ Hoggard (10.1 PPG, 4.5 APG, 3.3 RPG on 36.5 FG%). As a junior, he averaged 12.9 points, 5.9 assists, and 3.7 rebounds while shooting at a higher clip from the field (41.7%).

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MSU’s inability to score has been a common theme throughout their four losses. The Spartans were held under 70 points in regulation by James Madison (79-76 OT home), Duke (74-65 neutral), Arizona (74-68 neutral), and Wisconsin (70-57 home) while hitting at least 74 points in each of their four wins.

Overall, the Spartans have shot horribly from three. They currently sit 328th in the nation (out of 362 teams) in three-point percentage at a woeful 27.5%. Bettors can expect improvement there, though, as MSU finished last season third in the country at 39.3%. Both Walker (41.5%)and Jaden Akins (42.2%) averaged over 40% on more than 100 attempts, yet they’re sittin at just 31.2% and 27.3%, respectively, this season.

Michigan State vs Nebraska Prediction

Excepting Joey Hauser, the majority of Michigan State’s production returned from a team that went 21-13 and earned a #7 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Other than Walker, the MSU roster is not playing up to its potential. Hoggard and Akins, in particular, are both significantly better than what they’ve produced this season. At some point, the Spartans’ shooting is going to resemble the lights-out nature it showed last season.

Nebraska is improved, but still doesn’t have the horses to run with Michigan State if the Spartans find their groove.

MSU vs Nebraska pick: Michigan State -3.5 (-110)

Sascha Paruk’s 2023-24 NCAAM betting record:

  • ATS: 9-8 (+0.19 units)
  • Player props: 1-0 (+0.87 units)

All wagers one unit unless expressly stated otherwise. 


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