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Davidson vs. Michigan State Odds, Picks, Predictions: A Moneyline Bet For NCAA Tournament First Round

Davidson vs. Michigan State Odds, Picks, Predictions: A Moneyline Bet For NCAA Tournament First Round article feature image
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Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images. Pictured: Hyunjung Lee (Davidson)

  • Tom Izzo shines in March, but so does Bob McKillop. So what does that mean for Michigan State vs. Davidson on Friday night?
  • Our college basketball analysts are betting one team to win outright with moneyline picks and prediction based on the odds.
  • Find their preview to 10-seeded Davidson vs. 7-seeded Michigan State for the first round of the NCAA Tournament below.

Davidson vs. Michigan State Odds

Friday, March 18
9:40 p.m. ET
CBS
Davidson Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+1
-110
140.5
-110o / -110u
-102
Michigan State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-1
-110
140.5
-110o / -110u
-118
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

By Alex Hinton

Foster Loyer is from Clarkston, Michigan, which is less than an hour outside of Detroit. The son of former Detroit Pistons interim head coach and current Los Angeles Clippers Director of Pro Scouting John Loyer, Foster was Michigan’s Mr. Basketball in 2018. He committed to Michigan State and eventually became a team captain.

However, he had minimal impact in three seasons and transferred to Davidson.

At Davidson, Loyer has enjoyed a breakout season, averaging 16.4 points and shooting 44.5% from beyond the arc. Not many players get the chance to eliminate their former school from the NCAA Tournament. However, Loyer will have that opportunity Friday night.

While Michigan State players and coaches still have plenty of respect and admiration for Loyer, they will be looking to make sure that does not happen.

Under Tom Izzo, Michigan State has lost its first NCAA Tournament game just seven times in 25 years. Izzo is 52-22 in the NCAA Tournament overall.

Michigan State fans like to say “January, February, Izzo” to signal March being his month.

A Michigan State win could set up a powerhouse matchup with Duke in the Round of 32. However, Friday night may be Loyer’s time instead.

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Davidson Wildcats

By Alex Hinton

While Loyer may want to get up 30 shots against his former team, they will come in the flow of Bob McKillop’s motion offense.

While McKillop is most known for taking Davidson to the Elite Eight with Steph Curry, he has another elite offense this season.

Davidson ranks 10th in adjusted offensive efficiency. It has excellent floor spacing with three high-volume 40% 3-point shooters in Loyer, forward Luka Brajkovic and guard Michael Jones. Forward Hyunjung Lee is just behind them at 37.9%.

Forward Sam Mennenga and guard Grant Huffman don’t take many, but they are capable as well at 44% and 38%, respectively.

Davidson’s 3-point shooting prowess opens up space for cutters and makes the motion operate at a high level. Nationally, the Wildcats rank sixth in 3-point shooting percentage, 14th in effective field goal percentage and 34th in 2-point field-goal percentage.

The Cats protect the ball well and rank 15th in turnover percentage.

Davidson ranks 150th in adjusted defensive efficiency, and while it was not a strong point this season, Davidson did improve on that end toward the end of the season.

In its last eight games, Davidson has held opponents to 60.7 points per game and 39.3% shooting from the field in that span.

The Wildcats also rank eighth in defensive rebounding percentage, so second chances may be limited for the Spartans.

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Michigan State Spartans

By Alex Hinton

While Michigan State gets ready to face its former point guard, its own point guard situation is unresolved.

Tyson Walker sprained his ankle and played just three minutes in Michigan State’s Big Ten Tournament semifinal loss to Purdue. His injury comes at a terrible time because in addition to being the quarterback of the offense, he was playing his best ball of the season.

Prior to the Purdue game, Walker had averaged 11.7 points, 4.3 assists and shot 45% from 3 in his previous 10 games. He has not been ruled out yet, but he has not been practicing this week either.

If he can’t go, AJ Hoggard will run the show himself after splitting time with Walker for most of the season. Hoggard also turned an ankle on the same play that Walker was injured against Purdue, but he returned to the game and put up 17 points and 10 assists.

Like Davidson, Michigan State is also a prolific 3-point shooting team, ranking 17th nationally in 3-point percentage. Walker and forwards Malik Hall and Marcus Bingham Jr. are all over 40% from beyond the arc. Forward Joey Hauser is just a touch behind them at 39.8%.

Gabe Brown leads the team in 3-pointers made and shoots 37.3% from deep. He also leads the team in scoring at 11.4 points per game.

Turnovers will be an area to keep an eye on. Michigan State is -2.7 in turnover differential per game, 236th in turnover percentage offensively and 328th in the category defensively.

Davidson doesn’t force a lot of turnovers, ranking 269th defensively. However if Michigan State is coughing it up as per its average, Davidson will have a few more possessions.

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Davidson vs. Michigan State Betting Pick

By Alex Hinton

While Izzo has an excellent record in the NCAA Tournament, he does not have one of his better teams this year, particularly defensively. The Spartans rank outside the top-100 in half-court defense, per ShotQuality.

Against Iowa — which runs a similar offense to Davidson — Michigan State allowed 86 points and 12 triples.

While Davidson doesn’t have Keegan Murray, it does have a top-10 offense itself. Its big men can pull Michigan State’s bigs — like Bingham — away from the basket and force them to guard on the perimeter.

That will open up easier looks at the rim, and Davidson can get hot shooting from the perimeter, as well.

The Wildcats will rack up enough stops on the defensive end to pull out a win.
With a spread of 1, this matchup is essentially a pick’em. I like Davidson to win outright, and the Wildcats will be a good choice as a 10- over 7-seed in your bracket, as well.

Pick: Davidson ML

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