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Michigan State vs North Carolina Prediction, Odds & Player Props to Bet (Mar. 23)

Brady Trettenero

by Brady Trettenero in College Basketball

Updated Mar 23, 2024 · 1:15 PM PDT

Michigan State guard Tyson Walker (2) celebrates a play against Mississippi State during the second half of NCAA tournament West Region first round at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. on Thursday, March 21, 2024.
  • Michigan State battles North Carolina in Round 2 March Madness action
  • The Saturday college basketball odds favor the Tar Heels over the Spartans
  • Read below for MSU vs UNC prediction, odds, and player props for Saturday

Round 2 of March Madness gets underway this Saturday, featuring a matchup between the No. 9 Michigan State Spartans and the No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels. This game is being played in Charlotte, with tip-off scheduled for 5:30 PM ET.

The Round 2 March Madness odds favor North Carolina in Charlotte, pricing the Tar Heels as 3.5-point spread favorites against the Spartans. The over/under is listed at 142.5 for a matchup featuring ACC Player of the Year RJ Davis.

Let’s get into our Michigan State vs North Carolina prediction, as we break down the game odds and determine the best player props to wager on.

Michigan State vs North Carolina Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Michigan State +4 (-110) +150 Over 142.5 (-105)
North Carolina -4 (-110) -175 Under 142.5 (-115)

In the MSU vs UNC odds, the Tar Heels are narrow -175 favorites on the moneyline, giving them 54% implied win probability.

The Tar Heels are 5-0 all-time against Michigan State in NCAA Tournament play, most recently meeting in the 2009 national championship game in Detroit.

 

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Odds as of March 23, at ESPN Bet North Carolina. With sports betting now live in the Tar Heel state, bettors in Charlotte can wager on this game at March Madness sportsbook apps!

Michigan State Betting Trends

Michigan State enters the second round of March Madness following a 69-51 win over number 8 seed Mississippi State in the opening round of the tourney. Tyson Walker scored 19 points, Jaden Akins added 15 points and seven rebounds, and Malik Hall scored 10 points.

The Spartans, who were in control the whole way, pushed the tempo early and jumped out to a 20-8 lead after hitting four of seven shots from beyond the arc. As the Bulldogs were attempting to make a late comeback, the Spartans corralled two offensive rebounds to keep possessions alive and kill time off the clock.

YouTube video

Walker’s notable performance was typical for him, as he leads MSU with 18.2 points per game this season. Walker carries a significant part of the offensive load for a Michigan State team that doesn’t score a ton. The Spartans rank 189th in the nation at 73 ppg.

MSU went 19-14-1 ATS this season, with that mark dropping to 4-5-1 on the road. Their dominant defense led to the “under” cashing in 14 of their 28 contests. In their six nuetral site games, the under hit four times.

North Carolina Betting Trends

North Carolina enters Round 2 of March Madness following an impressive 90-62 victory over No. 16 Wagner in Round 1 of the tournament. Jae’Lyn Withers, a 6-foot-9 transfer from Louisville, had a season-high 16 points and matched a personal best with 10 rebounds.

UNC was a heavy 25-point favorite in the game, but thanks to a dominant second half, they managed to narrowly cover the spread. The disparity in talent was on full display, as the Seahawks had only seven scholarship-available players on the roster, with only one (Keyontae Lewis) boasting notable size.

While Jae’Lyn Withers was a breakout star in Round 1, the Tar Heels are led by the dynamic tandem of R.J. Davis and Bacot. Davis had 22 points in Thursday’s opening game and leads UNC at 21.7 points per game. Bacot went off with 20 points and 15 rebounds against Wagner and averages a double-double with 14.3 points and 10.3 boards per game.

UNC was a profitable team against the spread this season, covering in 20 of their 35 games (57%). Surprisingly, they were much better ATS on the road (7-3) than at home (8-7). The over/under almost hit equally, with the “over” hitting in 17 games and the “under” cashing in 18.

MSU vs UNC Player Props

Player props for this March Madness showdown have been released at DraftKings North Carolina. RJ Davis unsurprisingly boasts the highest point total at 19.5. Armando Bacot is expected to have a big night along the glass, with his rebound prop sitting at 9.5.

Player Points Rebounds Assists Three-Pointers Made
A.J. Hoggard 10.5 (O -105 | U -135) 3.5 (O +130 | U -170) 5.5 (O +105 | U -145) 0.5 (O -115 | U -125)
Armando Bacot 13.5 (O -125 | U -115) 9.5 (O +105 | U -130) OFF OFF
Cormac Ryan 10.5 (O -125 | U -115) 2.5 (O +100 | U -140) OFF 2.5 (O +125 | U -165)
Elliot Cadeau 6.5 (O +105 | U -145) 2.5 (O -105 | U -135) 3.5 (O -130 | U -110) OFF
Harrison Ingram 10.5 (O -135 | U -105) 8.5 (O -125 | U -115) 2.5 (O +125 | U -165) 1.5 (O +120 | U -160)
Jaden Akins 10.5 (O -105 | U -135) 3.5 (O -145 | U +105) OFF 1.5 (O -165 | U +125)
Malik Hall 12.5 (O -130 | U -110) 6.5 (O -120 | U -120) OFF OFF
RJ Davis 19.5 (O -135 | U -105) 3.5 (O +100 | U -140) 3.5 (O -135 | U -105) 2.5 (O -115 | U -125)
Tyson Walker 16.5 (O -115 | U -125) 3.5 (O +125 | U -165) 3.5 (O +125 | U -165) 1.5 (O -190 | U +145)

Odds as of March. 23 at DraftKings North Carolina. Bettors in NC can now wager on March Madness player props by claiming the bonus below!

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One MSU vs UNC player prop we love is Armando Bacot to record over 9.5 rebounds. You can currently get this bet at plus money on DK North Carolina. Bacot has been a dominant force on the glass all season, averaging 10.8 rebounds per game which ranks 2nd nationally.

I expect Bacot to have a big game on the boards as UNC tries to slow the pace and force a half-court game. Michigan State’s lack of elite size could allow the Tar Heels’ star big man to control the paint and create extra possessions with offensive rebounds.

He grabbed 10 boards in UNC’s tournament opener against Wagner and has recorded 15 double-doubles this year. Given Bacot’s rebounding efficiency and the Spartans’ inconsistencies on the glass (163rd in defensive rebound rate), the over on 9.5 boards is a solid bet.

Michigan State vs North Carolina Prediction

The key thing to remember before making a Michigan State vs North Carolina prediction is that this game is being played in Charlotte, likely resulting in a predominantly North Carolina fanbase in attendance. This will essentially be a home game, especially given how much MSU fed off their fans’ energy in Round 1.

While we like North Carolina to win this game, we think the game total might also offer some value. Both these clubs rank top-10 in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency metrics, with the “under” cashing in four of MSU’s last five games.

Michigan State plays at one of the slowest paces in the league, and they will look to slow things down against the faster-paced UNC team. During this “under” run for the Spartans, the team is only allowing 59.8 points per game. Michigan State has also limited opponents to an average of 16 free throw attempts per game in that span.

We think the Tar Heels are being a bit underestimated here, as we have the spread projected closer to five points. For our MSU vs UNC prediction, we’re forecasting a Tar Heels cover and the game falling under the total of 140.5.

MSU vs UNC Picks:

  • North Carolina -4 (-110)
  • Under 142.5 Points (-140)

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