Michigan State vs UNC Odds & Pick

Michigan State vs UNC Odds & Pick article feature image

Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: North Carolina’s Armando Bacot.

Below, find Michigan State vs UNC college basketball odds, a betting preview and predictions for the NCAA Tournament second round on Saturday, March 23.

Michigan State vs UNC Odds & Pick

Saturday, March 23
5:30 p.m. ET
Michigan State Odds
-110 / -110
UNC Odds
-110 / -110
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

The Michigan State Spartans kicked off the NCAA Tournament with a bang on Thursday, dominating a good Mississippi State team.

The North Carolina Tar Heels, who looked impressive in their win against Wagner, stand in Sparty's path. It should be a fun matchup, and some money has already come in on the Spartans.

On March 11, the Tar Heel State launched North Carolina sports betting fully online. Sign up at NC Sportsbooks today.

Michigan State Spartans

I anticipated the Spartans would defeat the Bulldogs on Thursday, but their domination was surprising.

The Spartans need to step up their offensive game in this one. While they're a top-50 team in offensive and defensive adjusted efficiency, they struggle to score from beyond the arc, relying heavily on paint buckets.

That's problematic, as the Tar Heels rank seventh nationally in 2-point defense. The Spartans' backcourt is strong, with Tyson Walker and AJ Hoggard leading the charge, but their inside scoring may not be enough to outpace the Heels.

The Spartans are a decent 3-point shooting team, but they don't take many. They need consistent scoring inside to secure a victory, which may prove difficult against Armando Bacot.

While the Spartans' defense is strong, it may not compensate for their offensive struggles.

Additionally, the Spartans struggle at the charity stripe and barely reach it. The Tar Heels are a good defensive team and hardly foul.

North Carolina Tar Heels

Many underestimate the Tar Heels (despite their seed), but their performance against Wagner was impressive. They're amongst one of the most balanced teams in the country.

Guard RJ Davis and big man Bacot give them a good inside-out game.

Although the Spartans have a strong defense, the Tar Heels' offensive talent should be enough to overcome it. The Tar Heels also shoot well from the line (76%)

However, their thin rotation and recent busy schedule may lead to some tired legs.

That said, the market overreacted to Michigan State's big win on Thursday. The Tar Heels have superior talent overall and rank in the top 20 in offensive and defensive efficiency.

It would be a mistake to underestimate UNC.

Michigan State vs. North Carolina

Betting Pick & Prediction

The betting line has dropped since open.

Initially, the Tar Heels opened as a 4.5-point favorite, but some books now have Michigan State +3.

Still, I'm confident that Tar Heels will emerge victorious. However, it's advisable to wait a little longer as the line may drop a bit more due to public money flooding in on Saturday morning.

The hype around the Spartans hasn't reached me, and there's a significant gap in offensive talent between them and the Heels.

Sparty will be in trouble if they can't make some perimeter jumpers.

I have more faith in the Heels' offense.

Pick: North Carolina -3.5

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