Michigan State-Michigan Betting Guide: Can Wolverines Adjust After Last Meeting?

Michigan State-Michigan Betting Guide: Can Wolverines Adjust After Last Meeting? article feature image
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USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Ignas Brazdeikis and Cassius Winston

Michigan State-Michigan Betting Odds

  • Spread: Michigan State -4
  • Over/Under: 135
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

>> All odds as of Friday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.


For all the injuries Michigan State has dealt with, it’s remarkable where the Spartans have gotten.

MSU toppled Michigan in Ann Arbor 77-70 as a 4-point underdog two weeks ago, and now the script is flipped with the Spartans as a 4-point favorite. Can they back up that performance to clinch a share of the Big Ten title?

The Stakes

The stakes don’t get any higher than this. Yes, it’s Michigan-Michigan State. Yes, it’s senior night for Sparty. Yes, the game will have NCAA Tournament seed line implications.

And on top of all of that, the winner will win at least a share of the Big Ten regular season title and secure the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. Stuckey

Trends to Know for Michigan-Michigan State

This is the fourth time Michigan State and Michigan have met since 2005 when both teams are ranked in the top 10. The Spartans went 3-0 straight up and against the spread in the previous three games, covering by 13.2 points per game. John Ewing

Michigan State is shooting the lights out this season. The Spartans are shooting 48.9%, tied for 13th in the country, including shooting 38.5% from 3-point range, which is also top 20 in the nation. Over their last three games, Michigan State has shot 52.6% from the field, shooting 50% or better in each game.

Since 2005, teams in March or later who shoot at least 50% from the field in at least three consecutive games have struggled against the spread at home, going 20-32-3 (38.5%) ATS, failing to cover the spread by 4.1 points per game. Since 2013, home teams in this spot are 8-16-2 (33.3%) ATS, failing to cover by 5.5 PPG. Evan Abrams

Since 2014-15, Michigan and Michigan State have faced off eight times, with the over going 7-1, going over the total by 13.8 points per game. Abrams

When Michigan Has the Ball

Besides Wolverines wing Jordan Poole hitting a pair of late 3-pointers vs. the Spartans in their last go-around, they scored a mere 11 points over the final 16 minutes.

Michigan’s biggest concern came from behind the arc, going 7-of-26 (26.9%) from that area. It forced point guard Zavier Simpson to bail it out from the perimeter, as MSU’s interior defense was exceptional at hedging with its bigs while rotating back in a moment’s notice. Tom Izzo’s squad is yielding the lowest 2-point clip (41.8%) and fifth-lowest 2-point scoring rate (50.1%) in Big Ten play.

But expect some positive regression for John Beilein’s perimeter attack, especially in a revenge spot. Michigan is shooting 42.9% from that department since their outright loss to Sparty, and it has accrued the conference’s second-highest 3-point scoring rate (33.5%) in league play. MSU has let up the fifth-highest scoring percentage (32.3%) in that department, too.

Whether or not Wolverines wing Charles Matthews (ankle) returns, look for Beilein’s crew to produce a better offensive showing. Eli Hershkovich

When Michigan State Has the Ball

Michigan’s defense is elite, ranking third in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency. And in Big Ten conference play, the Wolverines have been the best at defending 3-pointers.

The Spartans attacked the Wolverines inside the arc off the dribble in the first matchup, shooting a blistering 68% (19-of-28) on 2-pointers. Without forward Nick Ward (15.1 ppg), sophomore Xavier Tillman needs a repeat efficiency performance (14 points on 6-of-8 shooting).

The biggest offensive advantage that Michigan State holds in on the boards. As always, the Spartans are tremendous on the offensive boards, ranking top 20 in the country. Michigan State’s win at Michigan is even more impressive when you consider the Spartans were out-rebounded offensively (12 to 8).

The Spartans are fighting injuries, playing without Ward, while Kyle Ahrens (back) and Winston (knee tendinitis) battle nagging issues. Freshman Aaron Henry (5.2 ppg) shined in their last game against Nebraska with 15 points, and will have a bigger role against the Wolverines on Saturday.

The offensive gameplan for the Spartans is simple: 2-point efficiency, dominate the boards, and make open 3-pointers when they are available. But that is easier said than done against a Michigan team looking for revenge.Mike Randle

Stuckey’s Pick: No Surprises for Michigan

I think this game comes down to coaching in a matchup of two of the best in the country.

In the first matchup, Izzo changed up his defense by switching everything, which had Michigan uncharacteristically out of position throughout the game. On the other end of the floor, the high ball screen game gave Michigan fits.

Well, for my money. Beilein is the best adjustment coach in college basketball — and now he can make the adjustments to what Izzo did. And most importantly, Izzo won’t have the element of surprise working in his favor this time around.

The other major storyline from that game was how dominant Cassius Winston played throughout. He finished with 27 points to go along with eight assists — and controlled that game from start to finish in masterful performance.

However, Winston is dealing with nagging knee issues and it’s not like Zavier Simpson isn’t capable of slowing the Michigan State point guard down. Winston only scored 11 points in each of their meetings last year, both of which Michigan won.

The Pick: It’s amazing what Izzo has done with this team with all of the injuries they have had to deal with, but I think Beilein’s genius shows through once again tomorrow night and this game is decided in the final minute. I’ll be looking to back the Wolverines at +4 or above.

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