USC vs. Michigan State prediction and odds for NCAA Tournament First Round

Feb 23, 2023; Boulder, Colorado, USA; USC Trojans guard Boogie Ellis (5) shoots the ball over
Feb 23, 2023; Boulder, Colorado, USA; USC Trojans guard Boogie Ellis (5) shoots the ball over / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

No. 10 seed USC starts their NCAA Tournament run against No. 7 seed Michigan State in Columbus, Ohio on to start Friday's Round of 64 action.

Michigan State has been one of the most prolific three-point shooting teams in the country this season, but USC's defense has done a good job of shutting down opponents with their imposing length. Will Andy Enfield get the better of Tom Izzo and scheme up a sound defensive plan to get past the Spartans?

Here are the odds for this projected barnburner:

USC vs. Michigan State Odds, Spread and Total

USC vs. Michigan State Prediction and Pick

Michigan State is fourth in the country in three-point percentage on the year, but the team is 297th in three-point rate, so this is not their primary source of offense. Rather, Sparty settles for difficult mid-range jumpers far too often, which can be problematic against one of the best interior defenses in the country in USC, who is second nationally in two-point percentage allowed.

This matchup should suit Boogie Ellis well, who is averaging over 18 points again and has the handle to blow by the likes of Tyson Walker and A.J. Hoggard. Michigan State as a whole doesn't generate turnovers, 346th in TO%, and will struggle to deal with the USC offense that is reliant and getting inside. The Trojans are 22nd in the country in field goal percentage at the rim while MSU is 111th in that metric on defense.

I don't trust the streaky Michigan State offense that has some misleading metrics like their three-point percentage to keep up with the more complete offense in USC, who has the best player on the floor in Boogie Ellis.

Give me the Trojans to cover the one bucket spread.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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