Tourney Picks: Michigan State Spartans vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs

by | Last updated Mar 20, 2024 | cbb

Michigan State Spartans (19-14 SU, 18-14 ATS) vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs (21-13, 17-16), 3/21/24
When: 12:15 pm ET Thursday, March 21
Where: Spectrum Center

Betting Odds

Spread: Mich St. -1.5/Miss St.. +1.5
Money line: Mich St. -125/Miss St. +105
Over/under: 130.5

Following a few preliminaries Tuesday and Wednesday this year’s NCAA tournament really gets going when Michigan State and Mississippi State meet in an 8 vs. 9 game Thursday morning/afternoon in Charlotte.

Neither of these teams is a surprise to make this Tourna-ment but both struggled a bit down the stretch this season. The oddsmakers seem to think this game will be close, and they’re probably right.

Which way are we going with our free NCAA Michigan St./Missisippi St. pick?

NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

The NCAA tournament betting market opened Michigan State at -1.5 over Mississippi State, with an over/under of right around 130. Early betting action edged that total to 130.5.

Michigan State-Mississippi State Betting Preview

The Spartans are back in the NCAA tournament for the 26th straight time after going 19-14 overall this season and 10-10 in Big 10 play. Michigan State opened this season ranked in the Top 5 in the polls but lost five of its first nine games. The Spartans then went on a 13-4 run that included wins over Baylor and Illinois but then finished their regular season by losing four of their last five. Michigan State then won one game in the Big Ten tournament before losing a tough one to Purdue last Friday 67-62.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are back in the Big Dance for the second straight season after going 21-13 overall and 8-10 in SEC play. Mississippi State began this season ranked in the Top 40 and won 11 of its first 13 games. The Bulldogs later reached 19-8, with wins over Tennessee and Auburn, but finished their regular season by losing their last four games. Mississippi State then won two games in the SEC tournament, including another victory over the Volunteers, before falling to Auburn in the semifinals last Saturday 73-66.

These two teams played two common opponents this season, Northwestern and Rutgers. The Bulldogs played those foes to 2-0, both SU and ATS, and +10 points per game, the Spartans to 2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS, and +3 PPG.

NCAA Tournament Betting Trends

Mississippi State is 5-10 SU, 6-9 ATS this season vs. teams that made this NCAA tournament.

Michigan State is 4-10 SU, 6-8 ATS vs. teams that made this Tournament.

Totals Report

The Under is 19-14 in Spartans games this season, averaging 135 total points.

The Under is 18-16 in Bulldogs games, averaging 144 points.

Free NCAA Tournament Betting Pick

By the numbers, we give Michigan State an edge. However, the Spartans underachieved all season and finished poorly. Mississippi State didn’t finish great either, but it owns three Top-10 wins this season, two over a team we love for this Tournament, Tennessee. We’re betting the

Bulldogs for the win on Thursday.

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