Michigan State vs Butler Picks and Predictions: Spartans Too Deep For Undefeated Bulldogs

Butler is 3-0 to start the season but has yet to face a team the quality of Michigan State. Oddsmakers have made the 1-1 Spartans road favorites, and that's the direction our college basketball betting preview is leaning tonight.

Last Updated: Nov 17, 2021 12:38 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Gabe Brown Michigan State Spartans college basketball
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Gavitt Tipoff Games continue tonight with the Michigan State Spartans traveling to Hinkle Fieldhouse to take on the undefeated Butler Bulldogs team.

Michigan State is currently 1-1 on the year, with a loss to Kansas and a massive 90-46 win against Western Michigan. On the other hand, Butler has started the season 3-0 with wins against bottom-tier opponents including IUPUI, Central Arkansas, and Troy.

This will be Butler’s first real test of the season, and oddsmakers aren't believing in the bulldogs yet as they're slim college basketball betting home underdogs.

Here are our best free college basketball picks and predictions for Michigan State vs. Butler on Wednesday, November 17.

Michigan State vs Butler odds

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

Michigan State opened as a 2.5-point favorite and the spread hasn’t moved yet at the time of writing. The total has also stayed steady since opening at 131.5. 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.

Michigan State vs Butler predictions

Predictions made on 11/17/2021 at 9:03 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

Best college basketball bonuses

If you're signing up for a new sportsbook for the 2021-22 college basketball season, here are two of the best welcome bonuses available:

USA: DraftKings 3-ball bonus! Opt-in and bet at least $50 on tonight's game and get $1 in free bets for every made three-pointer in the game. Claim Now

Canada: Get a 100%-matched sign-up bonus (up to $400) at BetVictor. Claim Now

Michigan State vs Butler game info

Location: Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2021
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET

Michigan State at Butler betting preview


Michigan State: None to report.
Butler: Bo Hodges G (Out), Myles Tate G (Questionable), Pierce Thomas G (Questionable).
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 6-1 in the Spartans' last seven games as a favorite. Find more NCAA betting trends for Michigan State vs. Butler.

Michigan State vs Butler 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.

Michigan State is really trying to score early in possessions this season. The Spartans have an average possession length of 14.8 seconds on the offensive end and have an effective field goal percentage of 53.1 percent. The Spartans aren't knocking down threes as much as they’d like (shooting 28.2 percent) but have been solid inside, scoring 57.8 percent in two-point territory.

Michigan State also doesn’t have just one guy doing it all offensively. Instead, the Spartans have relied on six different players who have scored 7.5 points or more per game through two games this season. It looks as though Gabe Brown could be the forward that steps up the most this season as he’s averaging 13.5 points per game on 47.4-percent shooting from the field.

Defensively, Michigan State has held teams to just 24.4 percent from long range and is blocking six shots per game — a Top-30 mark nationally.

On the other hand, Butler is taking good shots, with an effective field goal percentage of 59.1 percent through three games. However, it hasn’t faced a defense like Michigan State. Butler bullied low-tier teams on the boards but likely won’t get that opportunity against the Spartans.

With three players scoring in double figures, there’s some really good offense on this Butler team. However, the depth — especially in scoring — isn’t there and against Michigan State, that’s going to burn the Bulldogs.

Prediction: Michigan State -2.5 (-110)

Michigan State has an adjusted efficiency of 88.7 on the defensive end. That’s a Top-15 number in college basketball and while we’re using a small sample size, the Spartans already had to play a very good team in Kansas.

Butler has used 19.2 seconds per possession this year through three games, which is 324th in the nation. While Michigan State wants to increase the tempo, Butler wants to move slowly.

The Bulldogs don’t have the offensive firepower and depth to hang around with Michigan State. They’re going to want to limit possessions and try to keep MSU from scoring a whole lot early in possessions.

We’ll take the Under in this one.

Prediction: Under 131.5 (-110)

Our best bet is still the Under in this game. Both teams have been on the defensive glass, with Butler allowing an 18.1 percent offensive rebound percentage and Michigan State allowing foes to grab just 22.1 percent of offensive rebounds.

These teams give up a combined one offensive rebound for every five misses. Plus, if Butler doesn’t crash the boards and gets back on defense, Michigan State will have to play half-court offense — making it harder for it to score.

Pick: Under 131.5 (-110)

College basketball parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed our Michigan State vs. Butler picks, you could win $26.45 on a $10 bet?

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

Pages related to this topic

Popular Content

Legal Canadian sports betting

Best Canadian betting sites Ontario sports betting
Covers 25 Years Logo Established in 1995,
Covers is the world
leader in sports
betting information.
Covers is verified safe by: Evalon Logo GPWA Logo GDPR Logo GeoTrust Logo Evalon Logo