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Ohio State vs. Michigan State Odds, Betting Pick: Are the Surging Spartans Creating an Inflated Spread?

Ohio State vs. Michigan State Odds, Betting Pick: Are the Surging Spartans Creating an Inflated Spread? article feature image

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Cassius Winston

  • The public is loving Michigan State (-7) in Sunday's matchup against Ohio State in East Lansing.
  • Has the market reacted too strongly to the Spartans' strong play of late? Or should you trust Tom Izzo's surging squad?
  • See the full betting breakdown below.

The Big Ten has had more front-runners this season than the 2020 Democratic primary.

It started with Michigan State, the preseason No. 1 team in the country. Then Ohio State followed suit. Next came Maryland.  And after yesterday’s road win at Indiana, Wisconsin has at least clinched a share of the Big Ten regular season title.

The Spartans have since successfully revived their national championship contender status with four straight wins. Today, thy return to East Lansing to face Ohio State with a chance to earn at least a share of that Big Ten regular season title.

But has this resurgence led to an inflated spread? Public love of a particular team can often times lead to value for bettors. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the matchup.

Odds as of Sunday at 9 a.m. ET and via PointsBet. Get up to $275 in free bets at PointsBet today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

Ohio State vs. Michigan State

  • Spread: Michigan State -7
  • Over/Under: 140
  • Time:  4:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS

According to the futures market, the public loves coach Tom Izzo and Michigan State again. The Spartans were the preseason favorite to cut down the nets in Atlanta. Now, they are the sixth most likely team to make the final four and eighth most likely win the title (+300 and +1500, respectively).

Joe Lunardi of ESPN’s Bracketology projects Michigan State as a No. 3 seed, the highest of any Big Ten team. With a win this afternoon at the Breslin Center, Senior guard Cassius Winston (18.3 ppg) can clinch the Spartans their third-straight regular season Big Ten conference title. A win would be the perfect end to Winston’s decorated regular season Michigan State career.

Michigan State is heating up at the right time, but where is the love for Ohio State? The Buckeyes are arguably playing just as well as the Spartans, having won nine of their last 11 games. And just like the Michigan State, Ohio State comes into East Lansing having won four straight.

And if we take a look at the advanced metrics, these two teams match up pretty evenly.

For starters, according to KenPom, Michigan State is the 7th best team in the country with a +23.61 Adjusted Efficiency Margin (AdjEM). Contrast this number with Ohio State, who is next on the list at No. 8, with a +22.58 AdjEM. 

Diving a bit deeper into these metrics, we also find two balanced teams:

Offensively, Ohio State’s efficiency rating is 114.2, 14th in the country; defensively, Michigan State’s efficiency rating is 91.2, 13th in the country.

On the other side of the ball, Michigan State’s offensive efficiency rating is 114.18, 12th in the country; Ohio State’s defensive efficiency rating is 91.6, 17th in the country. 

By all accounts, this should be a close game. Even KenPom’s system projects a four point Michigan State win. With no discernible edges on either side of the ball, this spread is likely inflated by the public’s perception for Michigan State’s new resurgence as a championship contender. 

It’s tempting to fall in love with the Winston and Izzo final home game story-line as they heat up into the postseason, but let’s not overthink this one – this spread really shouldn’t be anything higher than two possessions.

I’d bet Ohio State at a number of +6.5 or higher.

PICK: Ohio State +7 [Bet now at PointsBet. NJ only.]

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