Michigan State Spartans vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Spread Bet

by | Last updated Mar 23, 2024 | cbb

Michigan State Spartans (20-14 SU, 19-14 ATS) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (28-7, 19-15), 3/23/24
When: 5:30 pm ET Saturday, March 23
Where: Spectrum Center

Betting Odds

Spread: MSU +3.5/NC -3.5
Money line: MSU +135/NC -165
Over/under: 140.5

In a match-up usually more befitting the second weekend of the NCAA tournament Michigan State meets North Carolina Saturday afternoon in Charlotte.

The top-seeded Tar Heels eased their way through their first-round victory Thursday while the No. 9 seeded Spartans looked like the team they’re supposed to be, rather than the one that’s struggled at times this season.

Carolina’s favored by a couple of buckets for this one. Who do we like for our free NCAA tournament betting pick?

NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

The NCAA tournament betting market opened North Carolina at -3.5 over Michigan State, with an over/under of right around 139.5. Early betting action bumped that total to 140.5.

Michigan State-North Carolina Betting Preview

The Spartans reached Saturday’s second round by disposing of Mississippi State Thursday 69-51. Michigan State, favored by a point and a half, scored the first five points of the game and never trailed. Sparty led by double-digits nine minutes in and later by 18 in a somewhat ugly but effective performance.

Michigan State shot 50 percent from the floor Thursday while holding the Bulldogs to just 37 percent FG shooting and a season-low in points.

The Spartans began this season ranked in the Top 5 but lost five of their first nine games. They later finished their regular season by losing four of their final five. Michigan State then won one game in the Big Ten tournament before losing a tough game to Purdue 67-62.

So despite the recent hype the Spartans are only 3-5 SU, 4-4 ATS over their eight games.

Meanwhile, North Carolina reached Saturday’s action by disposing of Wagner Thursday 90-62. The Heels, favored by 25, only led the Seahawks 60-48 midway through the second half. But Carolina applied the gas, pulled away, and covered the game by one bucket.

The Tar Heels shot 55 percent from the floor Thursday while holding Wagner to just under 40 percent shooting.

North Carolina began this season ranked No. 19 and 21 in the two major polls. In the end the Heels won their last six games to claim the ACC’s regular-season title. Carolina then won two games in the ACC tournament before falling to a hot-shooting North Carolina State in the championship game.

So North Carolina is 9-1 SU, 6-4 ATS its last ten times out.

For what it’s worth, these two teams played one common opponent this season: Duke. In November, the Spartans lost to the Blue Devils 74-65 on a neutral court in Chicago. Later, the Tar Heels swept two games from Duke during their ACC season.

These programs last met six seasons ago, a 63-45 Michigan State victory on neutral turf in Portland.

NCAA Tournament Betting Trends

Including Thursday’s win/cover, Michigan State is now 5-10 SU, 7-8 ATS this season vs. teams that made this NCAA tournament.

Including Thursday, North Carolina is now 8-4 SU and 7-5 ATS against teams that made this tournament.

Totals Report

Unders are 7-2 over Michigan State’s last nine games, several of which played out as grinders.

Overs are 4-1 over North Carolina’s last five games, thanks mainly to the Heels’ offense.

Free NCAA Tournament Betting Pick

North Carolina played 19-4 in the ACC this season, while Michigan State played 11-11 in the Big 10. The Tar Heels are 9-1 over their last 10 games, while the Spartans are 3-5 over their last eight. Carolina toyed with Wagner Thursday; they should be well-rested. Michigan State caught Mississippi State having a bad day. Also, North Carolina has the better performance against “common” opponents. We’re betting on the Heels minus the points on Saturday.

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