Multiple times each week, FTN Bets’ resident college basketball junkie, Brad Evans, will attempt to posterize the ‘books with his favorite selections, whether sides, totals, teasers or parlays. As always, fade or follow Brad’s picks — fading is encouraged — that’s up to you. 

2-leg alternative line parlay play: Michigan St. +7.5, Ohio St. (ML) (Tipico Sportsbook)

Odds: +122

Leg 1: Michigan St. (+7.5) at Maryland

Green beer. Purple tulips. Michigan St. playing its best basketball. These are unequivocal rites of spring. The Spartans winners of three straight contests — at Indiana, Illinois and Ohio St. — have bounced off the bubble and into this frumpy prognosticator’s NCAA Tournament projection. Maryland presents yet another resume-boosting opportunity. To solidify its perceived standing, State must pack the hard hat and lunch pail. Maryland has plundered opponents in the paint, netting 58.2% inside the arc while surrendering only 42.5% to opponents on similar shots. MSU has consistently locked down on defense, but it’s their once dormant offense that’s come alive. They’ve racked 1.162 points per possession in their last four games. If Aaron Henry and Joshua Langford continue to wield a sharpened shortsword and an intense level of defense sustains, the Spartans will come roaring into March, as usual. 

Leg 2: Iowa at Ohio St. (ML)

Luka Garza plays as though he’s consumed an entire box of cocaine-frosted flakes. His motor never ceases, whether throwing elbows and high-kiss shots in the post or smoothly stroking bombs from deep. With key bench contributor Jack Nunge done for the year after tearing his meniscus, reliability on the school’s all-time leading scorer only increases. Frontcourt depth is sparse for Iowa. For the Hawkeyes to overcome and remain on the No. 2 seed line, defense needs to be a top priority. Fran McCaffrey’s zone has tightened of late as Iowa has allowed 0.954 points per possession this month. The Buckeyes, however, aren’t chopped liver. No Division I school in February has posted a higher offensive efficiency rate (1.291 pts/poss) than Chris Holtman’s crew. They’ve converted a blistering 43.8% outside the arc and 52.4% inside of it. For Garza, EJ Lidell isn’t the defensive behemoth Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson was. Iowa, too, possesses the necessary sharpshooter — CJ Frederick, Joe Weiskamp and Jordan Bohannon — to match triples. However, OSU’s juggernaut offense and the loss of Nunge are most concerning. In an intense battle, the Buckeyes should prevail. 

Season record: 26-32 

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