Minnesota Golden Gophers vs Michigan State Spartans Pick

March 23, 7:45 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Michigan State -10.5

Big Ten rivals clash when Michigan State meets Minnesota in an NCAA tournament East regional second-round bout Saturday evening in Des Moines (7:45 pm ET, CBS). The Spartans are favored by double-digits over the Gophers for the second time this season. Who do we like for our free NCAA tournament picks?

The Line

NCAA tournament betting odds opened Michigan State at -10.5 over Minnesota, with an over/under of 142. Early action then dipped that spread to -10.

Any bettors thinking the Gophers might pull an upset here could get upwards of +415 on the basketball betting money line.

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Gophers-Spartans Betting Preview

No. 10 seed Minnesota (22-13 SU, 18-17 ATS) reached this game by upsetting No. 7 seed Louisville Thursday 86-76. The Gophers led the Cardinals at the half 38-33, then pushed their advantage to 19 midway through the second half and held on from there for the outright victory as five-point dogs.

On the day Minnesota shot 50 percent from the floor, hit 11-for-27 from 3-point land and turned the ball over just four times.

The Gophers are now 5-2 both SU and ATS over their last seven games.

No. 2 seed Michigan State (29-6 SU, 24-11 ATS) reached this game by holding off No. 15 seed Bradley Thursday 76-65. The Spartans actually trailed the Braves by a point with seven minutes to go but ended the game with a 22-10 run for the win. However, Sparty never came close to covering the spread as 17-point favorites.

Michigan State shot just 43 percent from the floor Thursday but hit 25-for-26 from the free-throw line and out-rebounded Bradley 36-26.

The Spartans, champions of the Big Ten tournament, now own a six-game winning streak overall, going 4-2 ATS along the way.

NCAA Tournament Betting Trends

  • With Thursday's victory/cover Minnesota is now 6-9 SU, 8-7 ATS this season against teams that made the NCAA tournament.
  • The Gophers are also 10-7 ATS this season as underdogs on the college basketball betting lines, 2-1 ATS when getting double-digits.
  • Including Thursday's victory/non-cover Michigan State is now 15-3 SU, 13-5 ATS this season against teams that made the Big Dance.
  • The Spartans are also 10-2 ATS this season when favored by 7-13 points.

Gophers-Spartans Recent History

Michigan State is 7-2 SU, 6-3 ATS over the last nine meetings between these Big Ten rivals, and won/covered the only meeting this season, a 79-55 decision in East Lansing back in February. The Spartans led the Gophers that day 35-24 at the half and by 28 midway through the second half on their way toward the win and the cover as 13-point favorites.

Michigan State shot 52 percent from the floor that day while holding Minnesota to just 37 percent shooting.

Also, that game played under a total of 142, which just happens to be the total for Saturday's game.

Totals Report

The unders are 18-16-1in Gophers games this season, which are averaging 140 total points.

The unders are 19-15-1 in Spartans games this season, which are averaging 144 points.

Minnesota vs Michigan State Prediction 03/23/2019

Michigan State was favored by 13 points over Minnesota six weeks ago and covered. Sparty also finished seven games ahead of Goldy in the Big Ten standings this season. Also, while Michigan State came out cold Thursday, we expect a much better start Saturday. And Minnesota is unlikely to hit 11 three-pointers like it did Thursday.

Free Pick: 
We're giving the points here with the Spartans. -10.5

Attention NCAAB handicappers: Research past scores and point spread results on our College Basketball Database