USC vs Michigan State Prediction - Basketball Picks 3/17/23

Michigan State Spartans (19-12) vs USC Trojans (22-10)

Game Info: Friday, March 17, 2023 at 12:15 pm (Nationwide Arena)

Betting Odds: Michigan State Spartans -1.5 -- Over/Under: 137 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The USC Trojans and the Michigan State Spartans will meet in the first round of the East Region in Columbus at the Nationwide Arena on CBS. Michigan State won the lone meeting back in the round of 32 back in 2009, defeating a Demar DeRozan-led USC squad, 74-69.

USC Betting Preview

Southern Cal comes in at 22-10 after falling to Arizona State in the Pac-12 quarterfinals. The Trojans trailed the Sun Devils big at the break, and they’d lose by five, 77-72. USC is scoring 72.8 points per game, while allowing 67.0 ppg, and shooting 45.7% from the field.

USC still qualified despite an early exit from the Pac-12 Tournament, and after winning five of their last six regular season games, they’ll look to regroup Friday afternoon. Veteran guard Boogie Ellis has put it all together this season, and after going for a season-high 28 points in the season finale win over Arizona State, he’s leading SC in scoring (18.0). Fellow veteran Drew Peterson is one of the most versatile players in the country, and he’s averaging 14.3 ppg, and team-leads of 6.2 rpg and 4.4 apg.

Michigan State Betting Preview

Michigan State enters at 19-12 after losing to Ohio State in the Big Ten Quarterfinals. The Spartans trailed the Bucks at the break, and they’d fall by ten, 68-58. Michigan State is scoring 70.2 points per game, while allowing 65.3 ppg and shooting 45% from the floor. 

Michigan State also snuck into the Big Dance after an early exit from the Big Ten Tournament, which is a testament to what Tom Izzo has done at the helm, similar to WVU getting in the field with Bob Huggins in charge. Senior guard Tyson Walker finished as the team’s leading scorer after going for 31 points in a shootout with Iowa, and he’s up to 14.6 ppg. Veteran forward Joey Hauser had four 20 point-performances down the stretch, and he’s scoring an identical 14.2 ppg and a team-lead 6.9 rpg. Junior guard A.J. Hoggard scored 23 points in the season finale win over Ohio State, and he leads MSU in assists (6.0), while scoring 12.5 ppg. 

USC vs Michigan State Trends

Southern Cal is 17-15 against the spread this season, with a 17-15 over/under record. Michigan State is 15-16 ATS this year, with a 16-15 o/u record. The Over is 5-2 in USC's last 7 overall. The Over is 5-1 in MSU's last 6 overall.

Corey's Free Pick

Day one of the Big Dance provided sparks, scares, and upsets early, and this contest should start the day off on a strong note. I’m big on leaning on the veteran coach in this type of spot, and Tom Izzo has the most experience of any coach in the field. We’ve seen it with different groups over the past two decades, and with their offense starting to pick up down the stretch, the Spartans have a good chance to win this game. MSU’s size could also give Southern Cal trouble, and they hold the upper hand in the experience column as well. Take Michigan State’s spread for this first round contest. 

Corey’s Pick Michigan State -1.5

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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