Michigan State vs. Minnesota Betting Guide: Can Familiarity Help Golden Gophers in Round 2?

Michigan State vs. Minnesota Betting Guide: Can Familiarity Help Golden Gophers in Round 2? article feature image

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Michigan State guard Cassius Winston (5), Minnesota Golden Gophers forward Jordan Murphy (3).

#2 Michigan State vs. #10 Minnesota NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Spread: Michigan State -10
  • Over/Under: 142
  • Date: Saturday, March 23
  • Time: 7:45 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS
  • Location: Hartford, CT

>> All odds as of 6 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.

Michigan State (29-6) is coming off a huge opening round scare to No. 15-seeded Bradley, escaping with a 76-65 win. The Spartans did not cover that game but are still 23-11 against the spread including 9-6 on the road.

Minnesota (22-13) was a surprise winner over Louisville, 86-76. The Golden Gophers won the game outright despite being a five-point underdog. They moved to 18-15 this season ATS.

Are the Spartans Wearing Down?

Michigan State has been battling injuries all season long. Guard Cassius Winston (18.9 ppg, 7.5 apg) has been fantastic but is still battling knee tendinitis and a toe injury.

Forward Nick Ward (13.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg) has returned, but is not anywhere near his pre-injury efficiency. He has played less than 10 minutes per game on average over the last three games.

Against Bradley, the Spartans continued to have problems taking care of the basketball. The Braves forced 18 turnovers, and held the Spartans to just 26.3% from beyond the arc.

Bradley was able to disrupt the Spartans offense and force them out of their comfort zone. On the season, Michigan State shoots 38.1% from deep.

Can Minnesota Stay Hot? 

The Golden Gophers had a prolific offensive performance against the Cardinals. They shot 40.7% (11-of-27) from beyond the arc, which is much higher than their team average of 32.5%.

Minnesota also took care of the basketball, only producing five turnovers against the Cardinals pressure defense. They also enjoyed a balanced scoring attack, with five players in double-digit scoring.

Junior Amir Coffey (16.3 ppg) has raised his offensive game and senior Jordan Murphy (14.9 ppg, 11.3 rpg) has been a force inside while avoiding foul trouble.


While Michigan State defeated Minnesota 79-55 back on Feb. 9, these are two teams that are very different from that initial meeting.  Michigan State is winning close games and is still battling injuries.

Minnesota defeated Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament and just upset Louisville. The point spread is simply too high for these familiar foes.

Take the 10 points and expect the Golden Gophers to keep this game close until the end.

THE PICK:  Minnesota +10, would bet down to Minnesota +9

Sean Koerner’s Michigan State-Minnesota Projections

Get point spreads for this game and every possible tournament matchup with our bracket simulator built by Sean Koerner, our Director of Predictive Analytics, a former oddsmaker and FantasyPros’ most accurate in-season fantasy football ranker from 2015-2017.

  • Spread: Michigan State -11
  • Total: 139.5
  • Proj Score: Michigan State 75.5 | Minnesota 64.5
  • Win Probability: Michigan State 86.3% | Minnesota 13.7%

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game is from the individual writer and are based on his research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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