Ohio State vs. Michigan State Predictions, Odds, Preview

Feb. 25, 2021
Thom Cunningham
NCAA BK Expert

The Michigan State Spartans find themselves back on the March Madness bubble, but host a tough opponent in the Ohio State Buckeyes. This Big Ten game is set for 9 p.m. tip and will air on ESPN.


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Ohio State-Michigan State Betting Odds

Line Movements

  • Spread: Ohio State -6
  • Money-Line: TBD
  • Total: 147.5

Odds Subject to Change

Ohio State enters as the road favorite, given a -6-point spread. The Buckeyes have done well on the ATS this season, going 14-8-1. Michigan State has done better recently, but has still failed to cover the spread in 15 of 21 games this season.

The point total is a high 147.5, which both schools are essentially split on. Ohio State has gone OVER the point total in 11 of 21 games this season, while Michigan State has gone UNDER in 11 of 21 games.

The Michigan State Spartans have found March Madness life with back-to-back wins against Indiana and Illinois. (AP)

Betting Analysis – Ohio State Buckeyes

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 18-5
  • ATS: 14-8-1
  • SU - Home: 10-2
  • SU - Away: 6-3
  • O/U: 11-9-1

Ohio State is looking to rebound after a home loss to Michigan, as the Buckeyes are fighting for a No. 1 seed in the March Madness Tournament. The Buckeyes are loaded throughout, with terrific guard play from Duane Washington to C.J. Walker and great production from forwards E.J. Liddell, Kyle Young and Justice Sueing.

Washington and Liddell average over 15 points per game, with Liddell leading the team in rebounding with nearly seven per game. This is a very dangerous offense, currently averaging 78.5 per game which ranks 44th in the nation. The Buckeyes also hold the sixth-most efficient offensive rating in the nation, with terrific stats at the free throw line and from beyond the arc.

Ohio State averages 17.3 free throws made per game (ranks fifth nationally) and converts 77.7% of their attempts (ranks 17th nationally). Also, Ohio State connects on 8.4 three-pointers per game (ranks 79th nationally) and converts 36.8% of attempted three-pointers (ranks 55th nationally).

Betting Analysis – Michigan State Spartans

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 12-9
  • ATS: 6-15
  • SU - Home: 9-3
  • SU - Away: 3-6
  • O/U: 10-11

Michigan State is in desperation mode, and playing solid because of it. The Spartans have rattled off two huge wins at Indiana and inside Breslin against Illinois. Is third time a charm for the Spartans? Its very possible, especially with the way Josh Langford has played lately.

Langford has completely taken over as the leader of this club, and it is showing on the court. He is fully healthy (it seems) and engaged, which has reflected nicely on Michigan State's offense. Over the last two games Michigan State has scored 78 points or more, something the Spartans didn't see in any of the four games prior.

With the offense finally clicking, it seems the defense might actually fall into place now. The Spartans have only allowed 76 points or more one time over their last six games. With the points per game average now even with the points allowed per game average, it seems the trends are slowly but surely blowing in Michigan State's wind.

Inside the Stats – Ohio State Buckeyes

  • PS/G: 78.5 (45th)
  • PA/G: 69.6 (160th)
  • Off Rtg: 116.1 (6th)
  • Def Rtg: 102.9 (251st)

Inside the Stats – Michigan State Spartans

  • PS/G: 71.3 (181st)
  • PA/G: 71.7 (218th)
  • Off Rtg: 101.5 (191st)
  • Def Rtg: 102.1 (232nd)

Key Players to Watch

  • OHST - Duane Washington (15.6 PPG)
  • OHST - E.J. Liddell (15.9 PPG, 6.8 RPG)
  • MSU - Aaron Henry (15.2 PPG, 5.5 RPG)
  • MSU - Josh Langford (10.1 PPG)

Ohio State-Michigan State Predictions

It's tough to pick against Michigan State in this game, the team with a lot of momentum and playing with absolutely nothing to lose. The spread is concerning, but when push comes to shove stick with what you know. We know Ohio State is the better team in terms of pure talent, and we also know Ohio State is 14-8-1 on the ATS while Michigan State is just 5-16.

Playing the correct odds points to Ohio State at -6, although there is little conviction on my end for this. The point total is surprisingly more difficult to pick then going with the spread, so bettors beware of a difficult game to wager. If you must wager though, then side with the ATS trends and lean with Ohio State covering close game.

  • Score Prediction: Ohio State 77 Michigan State 70
  • Best Bets: Ohio State -6


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