Ohio State vs Michigan State Odds, Picks and Predictions: Points Limited in East Lansing?

Ohio State finds itself a 9.5-point underdog in East Lansing thanks to some season-long road struggles, but instead of the spread, our NCAAB betting picks are eyeing the total — find out why below.

Feb 25, 2024 • 14:13 ET • 4 min read
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This article contains predictions for an old game!

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Tyson Walker Michigan State Spartans Big Ten college basketball
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The high of the Ohio State Buckeyes upset of No. 2 Purdue wore off quickly with interim head coach Jake Diebler unable to pull off a second straight win and now he must hit the road to take on a Michigan State Spartans team looking to make an NCAA Tournament push.

The Buckeyes haven’t won a true road game since Jan. 1, 2023, and while this Spartans team is coming off a loss to Iowa, the college basketball odds have it as a big home favorite. Between the Spartans' ferocious defense and Ohio State’s erratic offense, this could be a slog of a game.

Find out where my best bets lie in our college basketball picks for Ohio State vs. Michigan State on Sunday, February 25.

Ohio State vs Michigan State best odds

Ohio State vs Michigan State picks and predictions

No team in college basketball is more beloved by the metrics despite a lackluster record than the Michigan State Spartans. Tom Izzo’s squad has been the victim of a treacherous schedule and only has a few games left to prove it’s worthy of the Big Dance.

What’s made the Spartans such a dangerous team this season is a dominant defense and that doesn’t bode well for an Ohio State Buckeyes offense that’s both slow-paced and inconsistent, but it does put the Under in good shape, especially with how Ohio State has looked on the road this season.

While the Buckeyes are averaging 74.6 points per game this season, that drops to 71.6 against Big Ten teams and to 68.3 in true road games. Ohio State isn’t the same team when it's away from home and though the team ranks 34th in adjusted offensive efficiency, it sits outside the  Top 160 in field goal percentage (44.9%), 2-point percentage (51%), and 3-point percentage (33.8%). 

This is also an offense that bleeds the clock, ranking 317th in adjusted tempo while averaging 58.9 shots per game, 169th in the country, and that should hurt the Buckeyes against a defense that’s played as well as Michigan State’s has this season.

The Spartans are holding opponents to just 66.2 points per game, ranking 17th in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom, and third in the Big Ten in team DBPR, per Evan Miyakawa. Izzo’s squad has also held teams to shooting 40.7% from the floor, 33rd in the country, and 32.4% from three, 116th in the country.

While the Spartans do lack size in the frontcourt, the team has still been able to keep opponents to minimal points inside the arc. Michigan State is only allowing teams to shoot 46.8% from two and is giving up the 12th fewest 2-pointers per game in the country (15).

Overall, Sparty is only seeing 55.9 field goals against its defense per game and allowing 22.7 of them to go in, the 23rd fewest in college basketball. That’s going to make it tough on this Buckeyes offense that leans on working the shot clock to find a look, especially with lead guards Bruce Thornton and Roddy Gayle Jr. both shooting under 28.5% from three in Big Ten games this season.

Where the Buckeyes can find an advantage is in the paint on defense where center Felix Okpara has been one of the best rim protectors in the Big Ten this season. He’s averaging 2.4 blocks per game in Big Ten games and can cause issues for Michigan State’s star guard Tyson Walker, who likes to drive to the rim but is only 6-feet tall. 

Despite Ohio State’s defense lacking consistency outside of Okpara down low, it’s been able to keep opponents to shooting just 47.1% from two, 65th in the country, and has only seen 19.2 threes per game against it this season.

That’s good news for the Under because Michigan State far prefers to take the ball inside than shooting from deep. The Spartans are averaging 40.9 twos per game, Top 50 in the country, but just 17.9 threes per game, 324th. 

With the way Sparty has played on defense this season, and the Buckeyes struggles on the road, this should end up a low-scoring game in East Lansing.

My best bet: Under 138 (-110 at bet365)

Ohio State vs Michigan State same-game parlay

Under 138.5

Tyson Walker Under 17.5 points

Roddy Gayle Jr. Under 12.5 points

For much of the season, Tyson Walker has been the catalyst for Michigan State’s offense, but there’s been somewhat of a shift with Malik Hall taking on a larger role in recent weeks. As a result, Walker’s points per game have dropped to 17.3 in Big Ten play.

Over his last nine games, Walker is averaging just 15.2 points per game and has scored less than 18 points five times. With Okpara’s presence in the paint and the need to keep up with the Buckeyes guards on defense, it could be another slow one for Sparty’s lead guard.

Similarly, Gayle Jr. has struggled with consistency in conference games this season, shooting just 24.5% from three and averaging 1.2 fewer points per game. Over his last three games, he’s averaging just nine points per game.

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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Ohio State vs Michigan State spread and Over/Under analysis

With Ohio State’s struggles on the road this season, Michigan State opened as a 9.5-point favorite and most books now have the Spartans -10. Sparty is 15-11-1 ATS this season, and 5-1-1 in its last six, while the Buckeyes are 10-16-1 ATS, but 4-2 in its last six.

The game total opened between 137.5 and 138.5 with most books settling in at 138. Thanks to its defense, Michigan State is 15-12 betting the Under this season and 8-4 over the last 12 games. Ohio State hasn’t been nearly as consistent, going 12-15 betting the Under, but 7-6 in its last 13.

Ohio State vs Michigan State betting trend to know

Michigan State has stayed Under the total in 12 of its last 21 games at home (+2.15 units / 9% ROI). . Find more college basketball betting trends for Ohio State vs. Michigan State.

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Ohio State vs Michigan State game info

Location: Jack Breslin Student Events Center, East Lansing, MI
Date: Sunday, February 25, 2024
Tip-off: 4:00 p.m. ET
TV: CBS

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