The second day of March Madness tips off with a seven-ten matchup as the No. 10 seeded USC Trojans take on the No. 7 seeded Michigan State Spartans. The name recognition alone is enough to make this game exciting, but if you are looking to place some action on this game, we have got you covered as we will break down USC vs. Michigan State predictions, odds, and props.
Michigan State will always be a threat in March with Tom Izzo at the helm. The coaching legend has won one National Championship, made eight Final Fours, and led the Spartans to its 25th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Meanwhile, USC is playing in its third-straight tournament, which is the first time they have made it in three-straight seasons since 2006-2009.
This game will be competitive and a perfect way to start the second day of March Madness. Here, we will break down the action and give our favorite bet and prop for USC vs. Michigan State.
USC vs. Michigan State March Madness Betting Odds: Spread, Moneyline, Total
The time is now to make your USC vs. Michigan State picks, and when you do so, make sure you scan the odds and lines from multiple top US sportsbooks to ensure you are getting the best number for your wager. If you are eligible, doing this will also inform you of each sportsbook’s bonus offers, which can help you build your bankroll for March Madness.
Below, we have included the USC vs. Michigan State odds and lines from some of our top-rated mobile sportsbooks.
NCAAB · Fri (3/17) @ 12:15pm ET
|Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH|
USC vs. Michigan State Betting Trends
- USC is 0-9 straight up (SU) in its last nine games against the Big Ten
- The total has gone Over in five of USC’s last seven games
- USC is 5-2 SU in its last seven games
- The total has gone Over in four of USC’s last five games when playing as the underdog
- Michigan State is 4-8 against the spread (ATS) in its last 12 games
- The total has gone Over in five of Michigan State’s last six games
- Michigan State is 12-1 SU in its last 13 games when playing as the favorite
- The total has gone Under in 11 of Michigan State’s last 15 games against the Pac-12
Read More: March Madness odds
USC Trojans Betting Overview (22-10, 17-15 ATS)
The Trojans are well-balanced, ranking in the top 50 in KenPom‘s Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Efficiency ratings. On offense, they rely heavily on the guard duo of Boogie Ellis and Drew Peterson, both of which average double-digit points per game, and both also shoot the three-ball at a high clip.
USC is not a three-point shooting team, but Ellis and Peterson both shoot over 36%, giving this offense enough of a threat that teams just cannot forget about defending the arc. This game will be played down low and on the perimeter, both of which USC has a leg up.
The Trojans like to shoot the midrange jumper, which they rank 13th in the country in the percentage of total shots that are two-point jump shots. According to ShotQuality, they rank 63rd in Adjusted Offensive Shot Quality. While they are not overall effective since they do not shoot the three ball pretty much at all, they don’t need to because they have won a lot of games taking mid-range shots, and Michigan State has struggled to defend from there.
Defensively, USC ranks second in two-point shooting percentage, sixth in shooting percentage, and ninth in shooting efficiency. This could spell trouble for Michigan State, as USC is borderline elite at defending everything they do best on offense.
Michigan State Spartans Betting Overview (19-12, 15-16 ATS)
Michigan State is similar in many ways to USC, but they can shoot the three-pointer. In fact, they rank fourth in three-point shooting percentage, but they are only getting 18.9 three-point attempts per game.
Both teams also rank inside the top 50 in KenPom’s Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Efficiency ratings. Michigan State does have more scoring options, as Tyson Walker, Joey Hauser, and A.J. Hoggard all shoot the three-ball well and average over 12 points per game.
It’s fair to say Michigan State has the better offense in this matchup because they are a threat from the outside, and the Spartans are a deep team. Defensively, while they are excellent compared to the rest of college basketball, they do not stack up to USC’s ability to defend sideline-to-sideline. Michigan State ranks 101st in two-point shooting percentage, 73rd in effective field goal percentage, and 58th in shooting efficiency.
USC vs. Michigan State Prediction
While USC should be the easy pick here, especially since they are playing as the underdog, the Trojans are dealing with some injuries to Vincent Iwuchukwu and Drew Peterson. However, USC is still good enough to run its stuff and defend at the same high level, even without potentially two key pieces.
Although the better three-point shooting team is always a threat, USC has the size and length to defend anywhere on the court, especially at the rim and from outside — the two most important areas to defend in college basketball.
For the Trojans, it will come down to hitting enough mid-range shots and winning the battle down low. If they can, they will win, which is what we will ride in this matchup.
Pick: USC +2.5 via FanDuel Sportsbook
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USC vs. Michigan State Prop Bet Prediction
Boogie Ellis Over 17.5 Points (-120, DraftKings)
Ellis is the leading scorer for USC, and with Peterson banged up and clearly looking off in the Pac-12 Tournament, Ellis will have to step up even more for the Trojans against a tough Michigan State defense.
While USC, as a team, does not shoot the deep-ball well, Ellis is shooting 39.2% from three, and he is averaging 18.0 points per game. Michigan State only allows teams to shoot 31.5% from deep, but they also allow teams to put up 22.1 attempts per game.
They know that USC is a non-threat to score from out there, and their focus will be more on the paint and trying to control the rim. That should leave enough cushion for Ellis to have some open shots from deep.
He is also just a flat-out special talent on offense and does not need to shoot the three. However, he is hitting threes at a 44.4% clip over his last three games, so we can expect him to have the green light. Even if he is off, we like Ellis to go Over this number.
How To Watch USC vs. Michigan State
Date: Friday, March 17, 2023
Tipoff: 12:15 p.m. ET
Location: Nationwide Arena — Columbus, OH
Where to Watch: CBS