Michigan State vs Michigan: Betting Odds Starting Lineups, Picks, and Predictions (3/1/22)

Michigan State vs Michigan Betting Odds

This is March.

We kick off March with one of the best in-state rivalries in the country, as the Spartans will travel to Ann Arbor Tuesday night.

Michigan State is coming off its best and most complete game of the season, beating Purdue on a last-second shot by Northeastern transfer Tyson Walker.

Meanwhile, Michigan just let up 93 points to Illinois at home in an eight-point loss, emphasizing the Wolverines’ defensive issues. In my last bracketology projections, I have Michigan as the last at-large team in the Big Dance, playing Loyola-Chicago in the First Four.

Both teams could really use this game. So, who has the edge?

Michigan State Spartans Odds

It was an impressive effort from Michigan State against Purdue. And it was a particularly smart one.

The way to beat Purdue is by attacking the Boilermakers’ pathetic ball-screen defense. That’s what Walker and Hoggard did, as the two combined for 11 assists and 20 points. Moreover, the whole Sparty squad finished with a 20:10 assist-to-turnover ratio.

But was it that impressive of a victory? Purdue shot just 1-for-9 from 3, and Sparty had zero answers for Zach Edey or Trevion Williams. The Boilermaker center rotation combined for 36 points on 15-for-24 shooting.

Moreover, Sparty got killed on the boards, getting outrebounded 34-to-24 in the game.

The same problems that have plagued Michigan State this season continue to plague them.

However, this matchup with Michigan should play out similarly to the one against Purdue. Hunter Dickinson will likely dominate down low, but the Sparty guards can attack a lackadaisical Michigan defense.

But will it be enough to string together back-to-back wins?

Michigan State Starting Lineup

  1. Tyson Walker
  2. Max Christie
  3. Gabe Brown
  4. Joey Hauser
  5. Marcus Bingham

Michigan Wolverines Odds

How does Michigan’s defense compare to Purdue’s?

Well, Michigan is one of the worst teams in the nation in defending the pick-and-roll and defending off-screen plays. It’s also easy to damage them on cuts and in post-up situations.

There’s not a defensive area where Michigan is particularly strong. The Wolverines are top-100 in defending at the rim and rank just outside the top-100 in defending catch-and-shoot 3 opportunities.

But other than that, the Wolverines are basically useless. The team has fallen to 11th in the Big Ten in defensive efficiency.

The offense is putting it together. But it’s all thanks to Dickinson, who continues to dominate teams in the post, finishing with both hands, passing out of the post, as well as stretching the floor, and shooting the 3.

And without him on the floor, the Wolverine offense dies:

Screen Shot 2022 02 28 at 1.44.25 PM

Image credit: CBB Analytics

Remember that Juwan Howard is still on suspension for this game. He’ll be back for the Big Ten conference tournament.

Michigan Starting Lineup

  • Devante’ Jones
  • Eli Brooks
  • Caleb Houstan
  • Moussa Diabate
  • Hunter Dickinson

Michigan State vs Michigan Prediction and Pick

My pick: Michigan -4.5 (-110)

This is a classic letdown spot for Sparty. While Michigan’s ball-screen defense isn’t any better than Purdue’s, the Wolverines aren’t going to shoot 1-for-9 from 3 on the other end.

And after seeing what Edey and Williams did to the Spartans, I’m looking for Dickinson to have a monster night. Especially stretching the floor for other ball-handlers, as that’s something the Purdue big men can’t do.

Michigan has been one of the most profitable home teams against the spread over the past few seasons, so I don’t mind backing them to bounce back in Ann Arbor against a very exploitable Michigan State team.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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