NCAAB Odds, Picks for Ohio State vs Michigan State

NCAAB Odds, Picks for Ohio State vs Michigan State article feature image
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Pictured: Jaden Akins #3 of the Michigan State Spartans. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Ohio State vs Michigan State Odds

Saturday, March 4
12 p.m. ET
ESPN
Ohio State Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+6.5
-110
138.5
-115o / -105u
+230
Michigan State Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-6.5
-110
138.5
-115o / -105u
-275
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Ohio State snapped its nine-game losing streak with consecutive home wins over Illinois and Maryland. Next, the Buckeyes head to East Lansing to battle the Michigan State Spartans. A win would give the Buckeyes a three-game winning streak and a lot of momentum heading into the Big Ten Tournament.

After inexplicably blowing a 13-point lead with 1:30 left against Iowa, Michigan State pulled off a comeback of its own on Tuesday night. The Spartans trailed by 12 at halftime at Nebraska, but rallied for a 80-67 victory. The Spartans improved to 18-11 and 10-8 in the Big Ten. They will look to close out the regular season with a victory at home on Senior Day.

Michigan State won the first meeting 62-41 in Columbus last month. In that matchup, MSU was 4-point underdog. This time, it is a 7.5-point favorite. However, I am eyeing the total instead.


Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State's past two wins have been spearheaded by its freshmen group of Brice Sensabaugh, Bruce Thornton, Roddy Gayle Jr. and Felix Okpara. Over Ohio State's past two games, those freshmen have accounted for over half of the team's points.

The freshman quartet started a few games in a row together — the first time Ohio State started four freshmen since 1995-96. However, head coach Chris Holtmann opted for Isaac Likekele and Sean McNeil on Senior Night. Against Michigan State, we may see the freshmen starting together again.

Sensabaugh is the best of the bunch as he leads the team with 16.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. He also shoots 41% from beyond the arc. Senior Justice Sueing averages 12.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Despite its struggles this season, Ohio State has remained efficient on offense and ranks 24th in adjusted offensive efficiency.

The defensive end is where OSU has struggled, ranking 112th in adjusted defensive efficiency. Ohio State ranks 302nd in turnover percentage and forces 10.8 turnovers per game.

Ohio State allows 69 points per game. However, that has dropped to 60.5 points over the past two games. It held Illinois and Maryland to 40% shooting from the field. Okpara was very impactful against Maryland, blocking three shots and grabbing 12 rebounds.

Ohio State will need another strong defensive performance to pull out a win at Michigan State.

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Michigan State Spartans

The Spartans have a balanced scoring attack with five players averaging nine points per game, including three in double digits. Point guard Tyson Walker leads the way with 14.8 points per game. Forward Joey Hauser averages 14.1 points and leads the team with seven rebounds per game.

Walker, Hauser, guard Jaden Akins and forward Malik Hall are shooting 40% or above from 3. Michigan State knocked down 16 3s at Nebraska, shoots 39% as a team and ranks fifth nationally in 3-point percentage.

The Spartans average just 70.2 points per game, but that is largely because they play at one of the slowest tempos in the country. Michigan State ranks 295th in adjusted tempo and 45th in adjusted offensive efficiency.

Where MSU struggles is inside the arc. It makes 47.7% of its 2-point attempts and ranks 278th nationally. The Spartans also get to the free-throw line just 14.5 times per game (343rd nationally), but make 76.7%.

Michigan State ranks 31st in adjusted defensive efficiency and excels at limiting 3s. Michigan State ranks 21st nationally in 3-point percentage defense and is holding opponents to 30.4% from beyond the arc.

Michigan State is not the biggest team, but outrebounds opponents by three per game.


Ohio State vs. Michigan State Betting Pick

The first meeting had just 103 points, but Ohio State shot 28% in that game. Since then, the over is 2-1-2 in Ohio State games and three of those games had 139 points or more.

Michigan State played an overtime game against Iowa where both teams scored 100 points. However, the total has also gone over in each of its past four games, all of which also cleared 139 points.

One reason to fade the over is because both teams are ranked in the 200s in tempo, so possessions could be limited. However, both also boast efficient offenses that come into this game playing well.

If Ohio State has some positive shooting regression and shoots in the 40% (or better) range and Michigan State remains hot from 3, this could be a high-scoring game. Given the trends, I anticipate there will be at least 139 points scored and am backing the over.

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