Upcoming Match-ups

Michigan vs Texas Southern Picks and Odds

Jordan Horrobin

by Jordan Horrobin in College Basketball

Mar 19, 2021 · 10:59 AM PDT

Michigan Wolverines celebrating a victory
Michigan players celebrate their win over Penn State during an NCAA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Ann Arbor, Mich. The players are from left, Jaron Faulds, Isaiah Livers, Zeb Jackson, Terrance Williams II, and Brandon Wade. (AP Photo/Lon Horwedel)
  • #1 Michigan (20-4, 15-4 Big Ten) battles #16 Texas Southern (17-8, 13-3 SWAC) on Saturday, March 20th, at 3:00 pm ET, in the first round of the NCAA tournament
  • The Wolverines have had a week off, while the Tigers needed to win their play-in game Thursday to advance to the round of 64
  • The odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and pick, can be found in the article below

The Texas Southern Tigers are already winners at this year’s March Madness after beating fellow 16-seed Mount St. Mary’s on Thursday. Their reward? A two-day turnaround to face #1 Michigan on Saturday, March 20, at 3:00 p.m. ET in the first “real” round of the NCAA tournament.

Michigan is favored by a boatload, as should be expected. We’re not willing to entertain a Virginia-UMBC-sized upset here, given that a 16-seed has only beaten a 1-seed that one time. Instead, let’s look at the odds and see which team makes sense against the spread.

Texas Southern vs Michigan  Odds

Team Spread at FanDuel Moneyline Total
Texas Southern +25.5 (-110) Off Under 142.5 (-110)
Michigan -25.5 (-110) Off Over 142.5 (-110)

Odds as of March 19th.

How They’ve Fared Recently

Texas Southern is on an absolute rampage that began back on Jan. 23. Since that day, the Tigers have won 15 of 16 games to take hold of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship.

The Tigers are a truly dreadful team offensively (257th in NCAA Division I in effective field-goal percentage, 341st in three-point percentage), but at least they’ve put up some good defensive numbers (29th in effective field-goal percentage allowed).

Then again, is their defense good or have they just faced a season’s worth of bad teams? They only have one win against a team inside KenPom’s top 220.

Michigan obviously doesn’t have that problem. Playing in the loaded Big Ten — college basketball’s best conference this season — the Wolverines never played a team outside KenPom’s top 220.

But with great competition comes great adversity (or something like that), and Michigan started to show some cracks in its exterior down the stretch. The Wolverines lost three of their final five games. Senior forward Isaiah Livers (13.1 points, 6.0 rebounds per game) is also dealing with a foot injury and isn’t expected to play at all in tournament. He was second on the team in scoring and first in minutes played.

ATS Analysis

Michigan is 17-7 against the spread this season, which is great. What’s not great is their 2-3 ATS record in recent games. All three of those ATS losses were also straight-up losses as favorites.

Texas Southern is 13-10-1 ATS this season, and the Tigers have covered in five consecutive games — the last two of which they won straight up as underdogs. Of course, they haven’t faced a spread this steep all season.

In six games as a double-digit underdog (with spreads ranging from 10.5 to 19.5), Texas Southern went 4-2 ATS.

The under is 6-1 in Michigan’s past seven games, and it’s 3-1 in Texas Southern’s past four.

The X-Factor

In Livers’ absence, the pressure will be on Michigan’s freshman phenom Hunter Dickinson. He’s the team’s leading scorer (14.2 points) and rebounder (7.6), but his results have been a bit topsy-turvy of late.

Dickinson scored 21 in last weekend’s loss to Ohio State, but he has also turned in some clunkers this month (six points in 22 minutes versus Maryland; six points in 22 minutes versus Illinois).

Michigan needs Dickinson to step up even more than he already has in Livers’ absence. We’re confident he’ll do enough to lead a winning effort, but we’re taking Texas Southern to cover the spread.

Pick: Texas Southern +25.5 (-110); Under 142.5 (-110)

Author Image