The Second Round of the NCAA Tournament contest between the No. 10 Minnesota Golden Gophers (22-13, 11-12 Big 10) and the No. 2 Michigan State Spartans (29-6, 19-4 Big 10) will be played at Wells Fargo Arena. The game’s Over/Under (O/U) opened at 142 points with Michigan State set as a 10-point favorite. Tip-off is set for 7:45 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 23, 2019.
Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Michigan State Spartans Odds Preview
In the First Round, the Golden Gophers defeated the No. 7 Louisville Cardinals, 86-76, despite being 5-point underdogs. Gabe Kalscheur was the top scorer from either team with 24 points on 8-for-14 shooting. Minnesota played a flawless game. They had a great free throw rate of 0.293 (above their season average of 0.286) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.595 (above their season average of 0.483). For those same stats, Louisville was 0.254 and 0.517, respectively. The two teams combined to put up 162 points, which came in well over the O/U total of 138.
Although the Spartans beat the No. 15 Bradley Braves in the First Round, 76-65, they were unable to cover as 18-point favorites. Michigan State’s Xavier Tillman was a key piece with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Michigan State dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had an offensive rebounding percentage of 25.8 (below their season average of 34.1) and a free throw rate of 0.463 (above their season average of 0.262). Bradley was 9.7 and 0.231, respectively, for those same stats. The two teams collectively scored 141 points, which came in over the O/U total of 134.
Of Minnesota’s 35 games, 18 have finished under the O/U total, while 20 of Michigan State’s 35 games have finished under the O/U total. The Spartans come into this game with a clear advantage in both straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records. They are 29-6 SU and 24-11 ATS, while the Golden Gophers are 22-13 SU and 18-17 ATS.
Michigan State could have their way on the defensive side of the ball as they battle against one of the worst offenses in the country. The Spartans currently rank sixth in effective field goal percentage allowed (0.439), while Minnesota is 280th in effective field goal percentage (0.487). Also, the Golden Gophers, who rank 23rd in free throw attempt (FTA) rate (0.286), will face a difficult test against the Spartans, who rank 38th in opponents’ FTA rate (0.189).
Minnesota vs. Michigan State Free Prediction
Basketball Pick: SU Winner – Michigan State, ATS Winner – Michigan State, O/U – Under
The Spartans rank 198th in three pointers attempted per game (21.5) while the Golden Gophers rank 310th (16.6).
Michigan State ranks 227th in steals per game (5.2) while Minnesota ranks 251st (4.7).
Michigan State averages 5.5 blocks per game, which ranks fifth in the country. Minnesota ranks 217th in blocks allowed per game (4.4).
The Spartans average 18.7 assists per game, which ranks third in the country. The Golden Gophers rank 141st in assists allowed per game (12.9).
Michigan State ranks 10th in rebounds per game (40.8) while Minnesota ranks 134th in rebounds allowed per game (34.5).
Michigan State is 3-2 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders in its last five games.
Across its last five games, Minnesota is 3-2 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders.
The Spartans’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 9.4, down from 13.2 for the season.
During their last five games, the Golden Gophers have scored an average of 69.4 points per game (1.8 below their season average) and allowed an average of 73.2 points per game (3.8 above their season average).