USC vs. Michigan State Picks, Predictions, Odds

2023 NCAA Tournament Picks
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This is the 25th straight appearance that the Michigan State Spartans have made in the NCAA Tournament. It's the third longest streak in Division I history, as Tom Izzo continually gets the Spartans to March Madness. Izzo is 53-23 in the NCAA Tournament, and he has led the Spartans to eight Final Fours, the most recent trip of which came in 2019. It's unlikely that Michigan State returns to the Final Four, but you can never count them out given their history, so the USC Trojans will have their work cut out for them on Friday afternoon.

The first game of the second day of the NCAA Tournament will see the USC Trojans take on the Michigan State Spartans. This game is scheduled to tip off at 12:15 p.m. ET on CBS from Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio on Friday, March 17, 2023.

The Trojans are 0-6 ATS in their last six games played in March. (Getty)

USC Trojans vs. Michigan State Spartans Betting Prediction

USC is making its third straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament under Andy Enfield. The Trojans made it to the Elite Eight two years ago, but they were bounced in the first round by Miami (FL) in a 7-10 game last season. Enfield will try to avoid the same fate this season, but it won't be easy as Michigan State is a well-rounded team that can hit the three. That tends to be the recipe for success this time of year, so the Spartans are the play here.

Best Bet: Michigan State -2 (-110)
Score Prediction: Michigan State 71, USC 65

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USC Trojans vs. Michigan State Spartans Betting Odds

USC Trojans vs. Michigan State Spartans Betting Resources

Date: Friday, Mar. 17, 2023
TV-Time: CBS, 12:15 p.m. ET
Venue: Nationwide Arena
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Matchup
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USC Trojans vs. Michigan State Spartans Betting Stats

USC Trojans
SU: 22-10
ATS: 17-15
O/U: 17-15
PPG: 72.8
OPPG: 67.2

Michigan State Spartans
SU: 19-12
ATS: 15-16
O/U: 16-15
PPG: 70.2
OPPG: 67.4

Straight Up (SU), Against the Spread (ATS), Over-Under (O/U)
Points Per Game (PPG), Opponents Points Per Game (OPPG)

Updated on 05/25/2024
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USC Trojans Betting Analysis

Boogie Ellis is the leading scorer on USC with 18.0 PPG. Ellis is the best three-point shooter on the Trojans, knocking down 39.2% of his threes. Only two other players on USC are making over 29% of their triples. Drew Peterson is the second leading scorer at 14.0 PPG, and he is making 36.2% of his threes, while Kobe Johnson is making 35.4% of his treys.

Understandably, the Trojans don't take a lot of threes. Less than a third of their field goal attempts are from beyond the arc, and that number ranks 300th nationally per Ken Pomeroy. USC is a little better at shooting the two, and Joshua Morgan leads the way in this department, making 57.3% of his twos. However, he is making just 55.1% of his free throws.

USC ranks 10th in defensive effective field goal percentage. The Trojans do a great job protecting the interior and the paint, as opponents are making just 42.4% of their twos. Morgan is a great inside defender, and he is averaging 2.3 BPG in just over 24 minutes of action a night. However, USC doesn't do a great job with its perimeter defense. Opponents are making 33.4% of their threes against the Trojans, and the Spartans should be able to take advantage of that.

The Spartans are 12-1 SU in their last 13 games when playing as the favorite. (Getty)

Michigan State Spartans Betting Analysis

The Spartans are a superb perimeter shooting team. Michigan State is knocking down 39.5% of its threes on the season, and the Spartans have three players that rank in the top 80 nationally in three-point shooting percentage. Top scorer Tyson Walker is averaging 14.6 PPG while hitting 42.3% of his threes, and second leading scorer Joey Hauser is averaging 14.2 PPG while knocking down an absurd 45.6% of his threes. Jaden Akins rounds out the trio by averaging 9.6 PPG and is making 43.6% of his threes.

Michigan State is a great free throw shooting team too. The Spartans' top five scorers are all making at least 78.6% of their free throws, and the only player that really struggles from the charity strike is Mady Sissoko. Unfortunately, this team doesn't get to the free throw line much, and the Spartans also have a hard time scoring inside the three-point line.

This defense is ranked 41st nationally according to Ken Pomeroy, and the Spartans are solid when it comes to defending opponents in play. However, they are one of the worst teams when it comes to forcing turnovers, and they can send teams to the free throw line a bit too often.