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Michigan State vs. Maryland Betting Odds, Picks, Prediction: Just How Real Are the Spartans?

Michigan State vs. Maryland Betting Odds, Picks, Prediction: Just How Real Are the Spartans? article feature image

Rey Del Rio/Getty Images. Pictured: Cassius Winston

  • Michigan State and Maryland (-2.5) are set to square off on Saturday in one of the biggest matchups in the Big Ten this season.
  • The Spartans have endured a rollercoaster season and have struggled to cover the spread this season.
  • Read our experts' full betting analysis below.

Michigan State at Maryland Odds

  • Spread: Maryland -2.5
  • Over/Under: 138
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

Odds as of Saturday at 9 a.m. ET and via BetMGM. Get up to a $500 risk-free bet at BetMGM today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

Maryland continues to thrive at the end of games, storming back to beat Minnesota by one point and improve to 5-2 in close contests.

Is that a sign of what’s to come or are the Terps due for regression against Michigan State? Let’s dive in.

How Odds Have Moved

Despite getting two-thirds of the bets, early action pushed Maryland down from -3 to -2.5. The total has remained steady at 138. — Steve Petrella

When Michigan State Has the Ball

In a loss to Maryland two weeks ago, Michigan State made just 4 of 19 attempts from beyond the arc. The Terps are third in the Big Ten in perimeter defense and had one of their best defensive days of the season in limiting a Spartans team that normally shoots 35% from long distance.

Cassius Winston committed four turnovers while shooting just 5 of 13 in that loss. But Michigan State should have no issues getting to the point of attack, as Maryland has a defensive steal rank of 316th in the nation.

The strength of the Maryland defense is defending mid-range and shots in the paint. The Spartans were successful in shooting 52% from 2-point range previously against the Terps.

Michigan State should continue to shoot from the outside and take advantage of a top 50 rank in offensive rebounding. A better game from Winston and finding a way to close down the stretch will get the Spartans to the window. — Collin Wilson

When Maryland Has the Ball

The Terrapins offense has the task of facing one of the toughest defenses in the nation, per KenPom. Michigan State ranks second overall in effective field goal percentage, fifth against the 3-pointer and 27th in blocks. Maryland has had issues with swats, ranking 316th offensive in block percentage.

The Terrapins biggest advantage may come from turning those blocks into personal fouls.

Maryland has a top 25 rank in point distribution from the free throw line. The Terrapins excel at drawing fouls and execute at the charity stripe. Maryland is 75% from the line, but made it to the line just 15 times in a previous win against Michigan State.

The Terrapins shot well in the Feb. 15 win from 3-point range, hitting 36% with a season average of 31.5%.

Maryland will find success again by drawing plenty of personal fouls, but there’s no guarantee it will hit at the same rate from 3-point distance. — Collin Wilson

Our Bets

While the rest of the public waits for Michigan State to “get it going,” I have officially run out of time. The brilliance of senior guard Cassius Winston notwithstanding, the Spartans other offensive options are limited.

Junior forward Xavier Tillman (13.3 ppg, 10.1 rpg) is solid frontcourt option but even with his superb 18-point, 11-rebound performance, the Spartans still lost 67-60 at Maryland. In that game, no other Michigan State player scored over nine points.

Michigan State is just 12-16 against the spread and has only covered once in their last six games.

Maryland’s third-best adjusted defensive efficiency rating against Big Ten opponents should limit the Spartans, while their conference-best 78.2% from the free throw line is always an advantage in games with small lines.

Sophomore forward Jalen Smith (15.2 ppg, 10.5 rpg) has 10 double-doubles in the last 11 games, which equates perfectly to Maryland’s 10-1 record in those contests.

The Terrapins can clinch at least a share of the regular-season Big Ten title with a win, their first since joining the conference in 2015. While Maryland has struggled against the spread (1-3 in their last four), this is the game they have waited all season to play.

I’m laying the small number against a Michigan State team that is waiting for a rally that may never come. — Mike Randle

Pick: Maryland -2.5

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