Michigan State vs Michigan Picks and Predictions: Wolverines Take Bite Out of Spartans

The Michigan Wolverines haven't played all that well of late and are in danger of falling out of the tournament. But they have enough firepower — led by Caleb Houstan — to make life miserable for visiting Michigan State. We like the home team tonight.

Jason Logan: Senior Betting Analyst at Covers
Jason Logan • Senior Betting Analyst
Mar 1, 2022 • 10:51 ET • 4 min read
Caleb Houstan Michigan Wolverines
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

There is big business in the Big Ten to attend to when the Michigan State Spartans visit the rival Michigan Wolverines tonight.

Michigan State is coming off a win over Purdue that snapped a three-game funk for Tom Izzo’s program. Now, the Spartans make the trip to Ann Arbor to face the Wolverines, who are in danger of burning their ticket to the NCAA Tournament after splitting wins and losses over their last six games. The NCAA basketball betting odds have UM installed as a slim home favorite tonight.

Here are our free college basketball picks and predictions for Michigan State at Michigan on March 1.

Michigan State vs Michigan odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

Books opened Michigan as high as -4.5 for Tuesday’s tilt and early action has trimmed that half-point hook from the point spread before jumping back as high as -5 on Tuesday morning. The total hit the board at 142.5 and is up to 143.5 at some shops.

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 Michigan predictions

Predictions made on 3/1/2022 at 10:10 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Michigan State vs Michigan game info

Location: Crisler Center, Ann Arbor, MI
Date: Tuesday, March 1, 2022
Tip-off: 8:30 p.m. ET
TV: Fox Sports 1

Michigan State at Michigan betting preview


Michigan State: A.J. Hoggard G (Probable).
Michigan: No injuries to report.

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Over is 14-6 in Wolverines’ last 20 games overall. Find more NCAA betting trends for Michigan State vs. Michigan .

Michigan State vs Michigan 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.

Spread analysis

Inconsistent efforts, head coach Juwan Howard being banned, and the Big Ten schedule closing in are all applying the pressure on Michigan in the final days of conference play. 

The Wolverines’ loss to Illinois on the weekend has bumped UM from some of the bracket projections and while the remaining slate provides plenty of chances to get out of the Big Dance doghouse, it’s a daunting task with MSU, Iowa, and Ohio State ahead. This homestand is a spot UM can’t let slip away.

Michigan State’s offensive output sees a 7.5-point downtick when hitting the highway, with the Spartans’ offensive efficiency sinking from 1.067 at home to 0.992 as visitors. The Green and White have lost three straight road games and 1-4 SU and ATS in their last five contests outside the Breslin Center. 

The Wolverines have the defensive makeup to add to those road woes — on paper. Michigan ranks among the best in plugging passing lanes (11th in assists per field goal allowed) and gets its heels above the 3-point arc, limiting foes to 31.3% success from deep: two areas in which MSU thrives.

The Spartans showed some solid fight on their own floor this past weekend but are ripe for a letdown spot in Ann Arbor tonight. Michigan State is just 1-6 ATS in its last eight games coming off a victory.  

Rivalry games like this can come down to the wire and while the home team has covered in each of the past seven matchups between these state rivals, a UM moneyline play (as low as -187 right now) could take some sweat off your brow.

Prediction: Michigan -4.5 (-110)

Over/Under analysis

Tuesday’s tilt is a tight turnaround for the Wolverines, who battled tough against the Illini on Sunday and now face an up-tempo Michigan State attack that used speed and energy to blast UM 83-67 when these rivals clashed in East Lansing back in late January. That final topped the 137-point closing total.

Izzo is trying to find that same energy again by tinkering with his lineup. The Spartans looked dull and listless on offense during their recent skid, but a shakeup to the starting five injected pop into Michigan State for Saturday’s upset of Purdue. 

Izzo swapped in forwards Malik Hall and Julius Marble in place of Joey Hauser and Marcus Bingham Jr., giving MSU a smaller but more active look. The decision paid off, as Michigan State moved the ball quicker and packed more punch from beyond the arc: two things they’ll need to continue to do against Michigan. 

The Wolverines offense has plenty of firepower as well, scoring 85 points in the loss to Illinois and ranked out at 24th in adjusted offensive efficiency at KenPom.com. Michigan isn't a great 3-point shooting team overall but is much more accurate at home (36.3%) and interim coach Phil Martelli told reporters UM will test the Spartans' 3-point defense with an aggressive approach from outside.

Michigan has four players averaging double figures and Moussa Diabate is right behind them at 9.4 points per outing. The Spartans can counter with options of their own, getting double-digit efforts from four guys in the victory over Purdue.

Prediction: Over 142.5 (-110)

Best bet

Michigan forward Caleb Houstan will be the focal point for UM’s attack tonight. According to coach Martelli, the offense will look to get the 6-foot-7 freshman going early on, especially trying to ignite his stroke from beyond the arc. 

Houstan is definitely a home-court heater, shooting 46.2% from beyond the arc inside the Crisler Center compared to just 27.5% from outside in rival gyms. In his last two games — both at home — he’s scored 21 points in each while hitting a collective 7 of 12 from 3-point range.

Houstan has also been great at getting to the free-throw line, shooting a perfect 11 for 11 from the stripe the past two games. With the Spartans rolling out a smaller lineup, he could attack the basket when MSU sits their rim protectors.

Oddsmakers have his point total set between 10.5 and 11.5 for this rematch with MSU. Houstan scored 11 points on just 3-for-6 shooting back on January 29, including a 1-for-3 day from outside. 

With Martelli giving him extra touches and the tempo of this game expected to rise, we like Houstan to go Over that modest prop total tonight.

Pick: Caleb Houstan Over 10.5 points (-145)

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