Final Four Instant Betting Reaction: Michigan State Matches Up Well vs. Texas Tech
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Cassius Winston, Tom Izzo, Matt Mooney, Jarrett Culver
Texas Tech’s reward for playing in its first ever Final Four? A date with Michigan State.
For comparison, this will mark the 10th trip to college basketball’s biggest stage for the Spartans.
Which team has the advantage? Our experts take an initial look at the odds and the matchup.
Be sure to stay tuned to our college basketball page for complete coverage of the Final Four throughout the week.
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#2 Michigan State vs. #3 Texas Tech Final Four Betting Odds
- Spread: Michigan State -3
- Over/Under: 133
- Date: April 6
- Time: 8:49 p.m. ET
- Location: Minneapolis, Minn.
- TV: CBS
Michigan State vs. Texas Tech Instant Betting Reaction
Can Texas Tech’s Defense Thwart Sparty?
The Red Raiders’ elite-level ball pressure was a critical factor in their Elite Eight win over Gonzaga. They forced 16 turnovers — and that was against a Bulldogs offense that entered the game with the 14th-lowest turnover rate (14.9%).
Simply put, Texas Tech has the top defense in college basketball, ranking No. 1 in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (84.1 opponents’ points per 100 possessions).
But the Spartans are well positioned to counter that strength.
Even though Michigan State racked up a below-average turnover rate (18.7%), it owns the highest assist rate (.674 A/FGM) in the country. Look for point guard Cassius Winston and the Spartans to dissect Texas Tech via their sound ball movement, exposing Chris Beard’s unit near the rim.
Texas Tech has allowed the 26th-highest scoring rate (22.7%) from the line, and the Spartans (fifth-ranked Adjusted Offensive Efficiency) dominated via the free-throw line down the stretch, accruing the third-highest scoring (20.7%) in that department during Big Ten play.
That should open up the floor and help them find good looks from 3, where they shoot 38% (24th overall). — Eli Hershkovich
- ATS lean: Michigan State -3
- Pick to advance: Michigan State
Texas Tech’s Versatility Will Pay Off
The beauty of the Texas Tech offense is that it is not reliant on the 3-pointer. In the NCAA Tournament, the Red Raiders have only shot 33.3% (25 of 75) from beyond the arc. In fact, they have only scored 29.5% of their points from long-range, ranking a minuscule 247th in the country.
Head coach Chris Beard emphasizes attacking the basket. Texas Tech was second in Big 12 play from the foul line, averaging 75.1%. That was a huge advantage against the stingy Gonzaga defense, which held the Red Raiders to only 43.9% from the field. They shot 84.2% (16 of 19) from the free throw line, including 9 of their last 10.
Matt Mooney (38.1%) and Davide Moretti (46.3%) provide driving lanes for leading-scorer Jarrett Culver (18.9 ppg) to attack. That dynamic trio has accounted for 63% of the Red Raiders’ field goal attempts this season.
Texas Tech will have offensive rebounding opportunities against a Michigan State team that only ranks 102nd at limiting offensive rebounds.
Depth is not a problem for the Red Raiders, as they feature eight players who average 14 or more minutes per game. While Michigan State is a strong defensive team, they did allow Duke to shoot 53% (19 of 36) from inside the arc. Look for Texas Tech to generate offense and second-chance three-pointers off rebounds. — Mike Randle
- Leans: Texas Tech +3, Over 132.5
- Pick to Advance: Texas Tech