Last Updated Mar 17, 2022, 1:21 PM

Michigan Wolverines vs. Colorado State Rams Picks, Predictions, Odds

Thursday’s opening game in the South Region of the NCAA Tournament pits the Big Ten’s Michigan Wolverines against the Mountain West’s Colorado State Rams. Tip-off from Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis is set for 12:15 p.m. (ET) with CBS carrying the game nationally.

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Score Prediction

Colorado State 71, Michigan 68

Best Bet

Colorado State ML (+125)

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MARCH MADNESS BETTING RESOURCES

MICHIGAN WOLVERINES vs. COLORADO STATE RAMS PREDICTIONS

Considering that Michigan finished Big Ten play at 11-9 straight-up, the No. 11 seed in the South Region is rather generous. The Wolverines lost to Indiana by five points as three-point favorites in their only conference tournament game. They have followed up a SU win with a loss in their last 10 games.

The Rams were second in the Mountain West to Boise State with a SU record of 14-4 in the conference. They fell to San Diego State by five points as 2.5-point underdogs in postseason play. This was just their second SU loss in their last 11 contests. This run includes SU wins over Boise State and San Diego State as two other NCAA Tournament teams.

Michigan has played with a high level of inconsistency all season long. This year’s bid can be heavily attributed to the team’s past reputation as a major basketball power. This creates an excellent opportunity to advance Colorado State in your bracket as a very predictable upset even though it is a slight underdog. The Rams played a very competitive schedule this season which should serve them well in this tournament.

MICHIGAN WOLVERINES vs. COLORADO STATE RAMS BETTING ODDS

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MICHIGAN WOLVERINES vs. COLORADO STATE RAMS BETTING RESOURCES

  • Date: Thursday, March 17, 2022
  • Matchup: No. 11 vs. No. 6
  • Region: South
  • Venue: Gainbridge Fieldhouse
  • Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • TV-Time: CBS - 12:15 p.m. ET

MICHIGAN WOLVERINES BETTING ANALYSIS

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

  • SU: 17-14
  • ATS: 13-18
  • O/U: 18-13

The Wolverines failed to cover the closing number in six of their last 11 games. One solid win was routinely followed up with a frustrating loss both SU and ATS. Michigan comes into this game with an 8-14 record ATS closing as a favorite this season. It is 1-2 ATS in three previous games played at a neutral site. The total went OVER in 18 of 31 games on the year.

Anyone betting this team will have to base that pick on reputation and past NCAA Tournament success. I give the Wolverines low grades for current team form in what should be an early exit from the South Region.

If Michigan is going to remain competitive in Thursday’s matchup, center Hunter Dickenson will have to play one of his better games. He leads the team in both points (18.3) and rebounds (8.3) while averaging 32 minutes of playing time in 29 games.

The Wolverines have averaged 73 points this season while giving up an average of 69.9 points a game on defense. Defense has been a major liability in many of their 14 SU losses this season. The total has gone OVER in six of Michigan’s last eight games played.

COLORADO STATE RAMS BETTING ANALYSIS

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

  • SU: 25-5
  • ATS: 14-15
  • O/U: 10-19

While the Rams have won the majority of their recent games SU going back to early February, this has been a tough betting team down the stretch at 1-5 ATS over their last six contests. Four of those ATS losses were as favorites in games they went on to win. Colorado State was able to cover in six of nine road games this season and it was an even 3-3 ATS in six neutral-site matchups.

Putting four teams in the NCAA Tournament field highlights the strength of competition in the Mountain West this season. Colorado State remains one of the best with an overall SU record of 25-5. Facing Michigan first on Thursday gives the Rams an excellent opportunity to possibly reach the Sweet 16 this year.

Leading the way in both points (19.4) and rebounds (7.6), guard David Roddy has been a big time player this season for Colorado State. You could also add guard Isaiah Stevens to that list with 14.9 points and 4.8 assists per game.

The Rams have averaged 73.7 points per game while shooting 48.5% from the field and 35.8% from three-point range. They have converted on 77.4% of their shots from the free throw line. Defensively, Colorado has held opposing teams to 65.7 PPG this season.

Colorado State has won nine straight games when playing on a Thursday. (AP)

INSIDE THE STATS - MICHIGAN WOLVERINES

  • Record: 17-14
  • PS/G: 73 (124th)
  • PA/G: 69.9 (199th)

INSIDE THE STATS - COLORADO STATE RAMS

  • Record: 25-5
  • PS/G: 73.7 (108th)
  • PA/G: 65.7 (73rd)

KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • MICH: Hunter Dickinson - C (18.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg)
  • MICH: Eli Brooks - G (12.3 ppg)
  • CSU: David Roddy - G (19.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg)
  • CSU: Isaiah Stevens - G (14.9 ppg, 4.8 apg)

MICHIGAN WOLVERINES vs. COLORADO STATE RAMS BETTING CONCLUSION

Past meetings is not a factor in this matchup. My best bet is based on current playing form and team consistency from one game to the next. The Rams are more than capable of winning this game with relative ease. Michigan remains hit or miss to keep things interesting for both halves of play.

MARCH MADNESS PICK RESOURCES

MICHIGAN WOLVERINES vs. COLORADO STATE RAMS BETTING TRENDS

  • Michigan has covered the spread in six straight games after failing to cover the spread the game prior. 
  • Michigan has won seven straight games after losing the game prior.
  • Michigan has gone OVER the point total in six of its last eight games.
  • Colorado State has failed to cover the spread in three straight games. 
  • Colorado State has gone UNDER the point total in six of its last seven games. 
  • Colorado State has won eight of its last 10 games.
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