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USC vs Michigan State Odds, Spread & Picks (March 17)

Jack Magruder

by Jack Magruder in College Basketball

Updated Mar 16, 2023 · 10:30 AM PDT

Southern California Trojans guard Boogie Ellis celebrates a basket
Jan 26, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans guard Boogie Ellis (5) celebrates in the second half against the UCLA Bruins at Galen Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  • Michigan State meets USC in an NCAA Tournament East Regional game on Friday, March 17
  • Michigan State is a slim 1.5-point favorite over USC at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio
  • Read below for USC vs Michigan State odds and prediction

No. 7 seed Michigan State (19-12, 11-8 Big Ten) is a slim 1.5-point favorite over USC in an NCAA Tournament East Regional game at 12:15 pm ET on CBS at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The Spartans are 7-8 in their last 15 games.

No. 10 seed USC (22-10, 14-6 Pac-12) lost two of its last three games, falling to Arizona and splitting with Arizona State. The Trojans lost to Arizona State 77-72 their last time out in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals.

USC vs Michigan State Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
USC Trojans +1.5 (-105) +110 Over 137.5 (-110)
Michigan State Spartans -1.5 (-115) -130 Under 137.5 (-110)

Michigan State is a 1.5-point favorite over USC in the seventh meeting of the programs, the first since the Spartans beat USC 74-69 in the second round 2009 NCAA Tournament. The Spartans reached the NCAA finals that year before losing to North Carolina.

Michigan State is 15-16 ATS this season, 5-6 in non-conference games and 3-3 at a neutral site. The Spartans are 4-8 ATS since a Jan. 19 victory over Rutgers. USC is 17-15 ATS this season, 3-2 on a neutral floor. The Trojans have failed to cover their last three games and six of their last 10.

The winner will advance to play either No. 2 Marquette or No. 15 Vermont in the second round of the March Madness bracket.


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Neither team is seen as a threat in the odds to win March Madness or the Final Four odds. MSU was +11667 to win the national championship after Selection Sunday, slightly ahead of USC at +14917. The East Regional odds list the Spartans at +1500 and the Trojans at +2000.

Michigan State Up and Down

The Spartans opened the season 12-4 with victories over Kentucky and Villanova, in hindsight not quite as valuable as they first appeared. They are 7-8 since, with neither a winning or a losing streak of longer than two games.

Michigan State’s best victories in the second half of the season have come against NCAA participants Iowa, Maryland and Indiana, all in East Lansing. The Spartans lost to Ohio State in their first Big Ten Tournament game as the No. 4 seed, a game in which coach Tom Izzo pulled point guard A.J. Hoggard and had an animated conversation with him on the bench.

Guards 6′ Tyson Walker (14.6 points, 55 threes), 6’3″ Hoggard (12.5 points, 6.0 assists) and wing 6’4″ Jaden Akins (9.6 points) enter the NCAA Tournament having averaged a combined 54 points a game over the last four, which accounted for about 76 percent of the Spartans’ offensive production. Walker, Akins and jump-shooter 6’9″ Joey Hauser (14.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, 68 threes) are converting more than 42 percent of their shots from distance, accentuating a Spartan strength. Michigan State shoots 40.1 percent from distance, third in Division I.

Like a lot of Big Ten teams, the Spartans value the ball, committing only 10.9 turnovers per game. The convert free throws at a 76.2 percent clip, but with a plus-3.1 rebound margin are not the monster on the boards that has marked previous Izzo groups.

USC Boogies Down

The Trojans turned the offense over to 6’3″ senior guard Boogie Ellis down the stretch, going 5-2 with Ellis supplying the punch. Ellis has averaged 24.3 points and 3.4 assists with in the last seven games while making 28 of 60 three-point attempts. Ellis led the Pac-12 with 83 threes, and he had six threes in a victory over Stanford and a loss to Arizona in the last weekend of the regular season.

Senior 6’8″ leader/wingman Drew Peterson is averaging 14.0 points per game and leads the Trojans in rebounding (6.2 per game) and assists (4.4). Peterson is only 7 for 31 from the field the last three games while playing through by back tightness. He returned to practice this week and is expected to start Friday.

Freshman Tre White (9.1 points, 5.1 rebounds) and sophomores Kobe Johnson (9.0, 4.9) and Reese Dixon-Waters (9.8, 3.2) contribute. Reserve 7’1″ freshman center Vince Iwuchukwu missed the last two games with a back injury and his status is unclear.

Michigan State vs USC Prediction

Michigan State is making its 25th straight NCAA Tournament, the second-longest active streak behind Kansas (33). USC is making its third straight, and the Trojans made a surprise run to the 2021 Elite Elite as a No. 6 seed before losing to Gonzaga. Metrics come into play here. The Spartans were 13-11 in Quad 1 and Quad 2 games, buoyed by the strength of the Big Ten, and they beat Wisconsin 69-55 on the road in their only Big Ten meeting this season.

USC was 10-8 in Quad 1-2 games against a softer schedule, and it lost to Wisconsin 64-59 at home. Wisconsin is a relevant comp because the steady Badgers play the same game every time. USC does not rebound well, and it needs Peterson’s scoring and leadership. Take the team that is more tested.

  • Pick: Michigan State -1.5 (-105)
  • Season CBK: 48-25


Other March Madness predictions for Friday, March 17:

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