Maryland vs. Michigan State Betting Odds, Pick, Prediction: Why the Market Is Counting on Spartans To Improve

Maryland vs. Michigan State Betting Odds, Pick, Prediction: Why the Market Is Counting on Spartans To Improve article feature image

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony Cowan Jr.

  • Updated Maryland vs. Michigan State odds list the unranked Spartans as a surprising 6.5-point home favorite, with the total at 137.5.
  • MSU has struggled the last few weeks while Maryland continues to win despite some close results.
  • See how our experts are betting Maryland vs. Michigan State below.

Maryland vs. Michigan State Odds

  • Odds: Michigan State -6.5
  • Total: 138
  • Time: 6 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

Maryland-Michigan State odds via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.

Something's been off with Michigan State for the last few weeks. The Spartans have dropped three of their last four, but most forward-looking projection systems still love them and place Tom Izzo's team inside the top 10.

That's why Michigan State is a 6.5-point favorite over a Maryland team that's on a seven-game winning streak but is running a little lucky in recent games.

Who has the edge on Saturday night? Let's dive in.

Market Moves for MSU-Maryland

Maryland is attracting heavy action in this game, moving the line from +7 to +6.5 at most books. The Terps are getting 70% of bets and 79% of money.

Trendy underdogs have not been a good bet. Fading any visiting dog in a conference game getting more than 70% of bets has resulted in a 54% winning percentage over the last 10 seasons. — Steve Petrella

When Maryland has the Ball

The Terrapins have been excellent at getting to the free throw line. Maryland is top 25 nationally in point distribution from free throws, ranking No. 2 in Big Ten play and hitting 77%.

Unfortunately for the Terps, Michigan State does not foul often. The Spartans are 123rd in personal foul rate nationally for a mid-pack rank in conference.

The biggest issue for Maryland this game are the Sparty swats and interior defense. Michigan State is the top blocking defense in the Big Ten with a national rank in the top 20. Maryland’s offense has a block percentage of 314th, so Michigan State is going to challenge every single shot.

Maryland must find its stroke from behind the arc, as they are outside the top 300 in 2-point distribution. If the Spartans force the Terrapins to feed the ball down low, there could be a Xavier Tillman block party in East Lansing. — Collin Wilson

When Michigan State Has the Ball

The Spartans get equal point distribution from the paint, outside the arc and free throws. The biggest issue has been ball protection.

Michigan State ranks a decent 139th in offensive steal percentage, but a lowly 11th in conference play. Three of the last four Michigan State opponents have stolen the ball at least nine times in the contest.

Lucky for Sparty, Maryland is one of the worst teams in the nation in takeaways and doesn't play hyper-aggressive defense. The Terrapins rank 323rd nationally in steals with an average of just 6.2 per conference game.

A clean transition game will get Michigan State tickets to the window. — Collin Wilson

What's Missing for Michigan State?

Something has just been a little off with Michigan State all season. The underlying metrics still love the Spartans, who rank in the top 20 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, but they’ve had a few too many head-scratching losses for a team that looks elite on paper.

Sparty clearly misses Josh Langford, who would have provided that secondary scoring Michigan State just can’t seem to get on a consistent basis.

You know what you’re going to get from the inside-out duo of Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman, but Michigan State just isn’t the same dynamic team when nobody else steps up.

When Rocket Watts and/or Aaron Henry show up, Michigan State is very tough to beat. Just take a look at both home losses this year against Duke and Penn State…Henry only had two points in each contest.

Maryland might have the most talented roster in the Big Ten, led also by an elite inside-out duo of Jalen Smith and Anthony Cowan. But with Cowan and Smith likely matched up with Winston and Tillman, it will also be about who else can step up, whether it be Aaron Wiggins, Darryl Morsell or Eric Ayala.

From an X’s and O’s perspective, both offenses can be a bit turnover prone at times but neither one of these defenses forces many turnovers. Therefore, this will come down to offensive execution in the half court, likely which team’s role players are making shots.

And from a halfcourt execution standpoint, you have to trust Michigan State a bit more as the Spartans lead the nation in percentage of made field goals assisted on and also boast the top adjusted defensive efficiency in the land. Maryland has also become very 3-point happy during conference play and the Michigan State perimeter defense is suffocating. Stuckey

Maryland Due for a Letdown

Yes, Maryland has won seven straight, but the Terps have been super fortunate in a number of those wins. They needed to come back in the second half at Northwestern, had a miracle final minute rally at Indiana and then most recently barely held on for a 2-point home win against lowly Nebraska.

For what it’s worth, last year, Michigan State dropped a home game as a favorite against Indiana when College GameDay was in town, so I’m sure Tom Izzo will remind his team of that experience. And this is a major coaching mismatch on paper, so Sparty should have a major edge when it comes to halftime and in-game adjustments.

I’ve fortunately stayed away from Michigan State during its four-game coverless streak and was ready to pull the trigger here if I could get a nice short number.

However, there just isn’t any value on Sparty here and there’s actually a touch on Maryland, per my latest power ratings. I still think Sparty finds a way to win behind Izzo and the home crowd, so I’ll personally look to see if I can get a good number on Michigan State live.Stuckey

Our Bets

Michigan State -6.5: This is a direct bet with Vegas.

Making the No. 9 Terrapins a 6.5-point underdog against an unranked team is certainly shocking. Maryland has won seven games in row, following a two-point loss at Wisconsin.

If the Spartans lose this game, their chance of winning the Big Ten regular-season title is essentially gone. They would be three full games behind Maryland with just six regular season contests left.

A win will put the Spartans just one game back with a head-to-head win in hand. Maryland will get Michigan State’s best effort on both ends of the floor. I will give the large number with the Spartans top-ranked defense in conference in a mostly situational play. Mike Randle

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