Connecticut vs Michigan State Picks and Predictions: UConn Too Strong

Ready for a defensive grind? Two elite programs with lock-down units clash in Atlantis for a Thanksgiving matinee. But only one of these sides will challenge the other's defense — find out which with our Connecticut vs. Michigan State picks.

Last Updated: Nov 25, 2021 8:31 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Adama Sanogo UConn Huskies college basketball
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Connecticut Huskies are currently 5-0 after a huge win against Auburn in double overtime to start the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament. Now, they’ll look to continue winning going up against a 4-1 Michigan State Spartans team that is currently 4-1 on the season. 

The Spartans’ only loss was against a really good Kansas squad, 87-74. Since that loss, Michigan State has reeled off four straight victories.

Will Michigan State be able to take advantage of UConn playing a double-overtime game yesterday? Here are our college basketball picks and predictions for the semifinal game between the Connecticut Huskies and the Michigan State Spartans.

Connecticut vs Michigan State odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Michigan State opened as a -1 favorite and has stayed around that number at most outlets. The total has also stuck around 141.5 since opening.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.

Connecticut vs Michigan State predictions

Predictions made on 11/25/2021 at 7:25 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Connecticut vs Michigan State game info

Location: Imperial Arena, Paradise Island, Bahamas
Date: Thursday, November 25, 2021
Tip-off: 12:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN

Connecticut at Michigan State betting preview

Injuries

Connecticut: None.
Michigan State: None.

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Huskies are 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight games vs. a team with a winning percentage above .600. Find more NCAA betting trends for Connecticut vs. Michigan State.

Connecticut vs Michigan State picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

The Connecticut Huskies finally passed their first test of the season. After facing a bunch of lower-tier teams to start the campaign, Connecticut was tested against Auburn and found a way to win a double-overtime game that probably never should’ve gotten to that point. 

The Huskies have been fouling at a high rate, but that can be a byproduct of their pesky defense. The Spartans currently rank 29th in adjusted defensive efficiency and have forced 26.6 percent turnovers per game. The Huskies have also held opponents to 28.7 percent from downtown and 39.7 percent from inside the arc. 

With Michigan State shooting just 30.9 percent from long range and turning the ball over 21.7 percent of the time, Connecticut could have some success defensively in this game. 

On offense, the Huskies have shot an effective field goal percentage of 57.1 while earning 42.6 percent of offensive rebounds per game. The Huskies are one of the best teams in the nation on the offensive glass but they’re also able to shoot the long ball at 43.6 percent. 

Connecticut doesn’t shoot a high volume from three, but when threes go up, the ball is usually either going in the net or finding a Connecticut player for a second chance opportunity. 

The Spartans have played solid defense to start the season. They’re holding teams to just a 41.3 percent effective field goal percentage while allowing just 38.1 percent from inside the arc. 

All in all, this could be a terrific game between two elite programs. However, UConn should be able to win the rebounding game, shoot better and force more turnovers. So, with that, I’ll take Connecticut +1.5.

Prediction: Connecticut +1.5 (-110)

Connecticut played two overtimes yesterday while Michigan State defended for a full 40 minutes against Loyola Chicago. 

Both of these defenses are in the Top 30 when it comes to adjusted defensive efficiency, with the Spartans sitting at third in the nation. While Connecticut has dominated the glass, it’ll likely have to put up more of a fight today. The Huskies will still win the rebounding battle but don’t think they’ll earn 42.6 percent against Michigan State. 

These teams will both use plenty of their bench throughout the game to keep their legs fresh, which mainly helps the defense more than the offense. Starters Adama Sanogo and R.J. Cole are the best scorers for Connecticut, however, they only play 30 minutes or less a night. 

Depth for both of these teams pays dividends on the defensive end. 

Prediction: Under 141.5 (-110)

I’ll stick with Connecticut at +1.5 for my best bet. While Michigan State is deep, their offense hasn’t been all that impressive. Only four players on the Spartans are averaging more than seven points a night. 

Michigan State is turning the ball over 21.7 percent of the time and shooting just 30.9 percent from long range. In a tight, closely contested game, those two areas will be the difference between winning and losing for bettors. 

Pick: Connecticut +1.5 (-110)

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Use our college basketball parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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