MI State favored to edge tight March Madness contest against USC

MI State takes on USC on the second full day of March Madness matches. And unlike some of the fixtures so far, this one has the potential to go either way. Neither of these sides are expected to go the distance in the NCAA Tournament, but both will want to make their mark on the competition. So let’s see who will make it to the 2nd Round in our NCAAB betting picks.

  • What; NCAA Tournament Men’s Basketball March Madness – 1st Round
  • Who; Michigan State Spartans vs USC Trojans
  • Where; Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
  • When; Friday, March 17th, 2023
  • Tip Off; 11.15 am ET

In the betting to win the NCAA Tournament, MI State is +8000, and USC is +20000. While in the betting to win the East Region, Michigan is +1400, and the Trojans are +2600. Neither team is expected to win anything in the outright markets, but both teams do possess enough talent to cause concern for the big guns.

The East Bracket is one of the more competitive regions, with Purdue (+290), Marquette (+400), Duke (+450), and Tennessee (+575) leading the way. And with second seeds Marquette (or Vermont, 15th) the likely opponents for the winners of this match, any glory may well be very short lived.

Elsewhere in the betting to win the NCAA Tournament, it’s the Houston Cougars again leading the way. Houston is now +550, with Alabama at +600. Both franchises’ odds have been changing all week, albeit marginally. Most recently, both sides were joint favorites at +550, and by the time you are reading this, the odds may have changed again.

Behind the Cougars and the Crimson Tide are the Purdue Boilermakers (+1000), UCLA (+1000), Kansas (+1100), and Texas (+1100).

MI State vs USC Betting

The prices from the best college basketball betting sites show just how tight this match is expected to be. On the moneyline, Michigan State is just edging favoritism at -132, with USC priced up at +112.

Moving onto the handicap spread, USC are only receiving a +1.5 points start. With the start, the Trojans are -107. And from -1.5 points behind, MI State are -113. The total points spread is set at 137.5. Both over and under is -110.

Below we have more odds from some of the best bookmakers for US Basketball betting. You can read more about these betting sites on our top US sportsbooks reviews page. Here you will also find details of how to claim their new customer welcome bonuses – bonuses that can be used to wager on March Madness with!

MI State vs USC; March MadnessBetOnline ReviewMyBookie ReviewBovada
MI State-132-130-130
MI State (-1.5)-113-110-110
USC (+1.5)-107-110-110

Who has the better form?

The Spartans have had an up and down season, but luckily for them they have the steady hand of Tom Izzo to guide them through. They finished fourth in the Big Ten with a conference record of 11-8, while their overall record was 19-12.

The Spartans’ season is summed up by their record. A couple of wins would be followed by a couple of losses. And although, that has been good enough to get them into March Madness. it’s difficult to see them going deep into the tournament with this sort of form.

Trojans hold own on Pac-12

The Trojans finished third in a tightly contested Pac-12. Yes, UCLA and Arizona have superior records to Andy Enfield’s team, but it would be harsh to say that USC didn’t hold their own in the conference.

Their overall record was 22-10, with a conference showing of 14-6. Steady if not spectacular.

In more recent times, USC has shown impressive form. A decent four-match winning streak in February was only ended by a close defeat (87-81) to Arizona. But they bounced back from that loss with a 68-65 win over Arizona State.

That win was avenged in the Pac-12 Tournament though, with the Sun Devils turning the tables on the Trojans, defeating them 77-72.

Our Pick

MI State is seeded 7, and USC is seeded 10. The stats tell us that every year since 2008, a number 10 seed has upset a number 7 seed. And by pure irony last year, it was USC who were the number 7 seed on the receiving end.

So here’s their chance to put that wrong, right. But can they do it? The best March Madness betting sites are saying no, as they are just favoring the Spartans. But this match really could go either way.

A lot will depend on how Boogie Ellis performs for the Trojans. If he can keep up his average scoring rate of 18.0, the Trojans will have a chance. But when you’re up against canny tacticians like Tom Izzo, the likes of Ellis can be stifled.

The chances are this could come down to something like a key tactical change, and we believe this gives the Spartans the edge.

Outmaneuvering Tom Izzo might prove difficult for Andy Enfield. Afterall, Izzo is coaching in this 25th straight March Madness. As a result, we expect the Spartans to have the edge when it comes to the fine margins, and therefore we are making them our pick to win on the handicap spread.

MI State (-1.5)To beat USC on Handicap Spread
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Dean Etheridge

Hailing from Coventry, England, Dean brings his British wit to every piece he pens. A true lover of a good wager, Dean's passion for both sports and writing has merged into the world of sports betting. Dean is the mastermind behind his very own soccer and cricket betting platforms. As the owner and editor of a renowned football betting website, Dean has established himself as a force within the industry. His expertise as a freelance content writer is centered in the realms of football, cricket and Formula 1. From breaking down odds to unraveling strategies, Dean's writing radiates an unmatched love for sports. When he’s not immersed in sports betting, Dean enjoyes exploring new culinary delights, conquering the latest car racing video games, or getting lost in the pages of a novel.