Michigan State vs UCLA: March Madness Betting Odds and Picks – March 18, 2021

Posted on March 16, 2021 - Last Updated on April 19, 2021

The Michigan State Spartans (15-12) and the UCLA Bruins (17-9) meet in the First Four with a place in the NCAA Tournament Round of 64 bracket up for grabs on Thursday at Mackey Arena, starting at 9:57 PM ET on TBS. Michigan State is a 2.5-point favorite in the game.

The betting insights and predictions in this article reflect betting data from DraftKings as of March 16, 2021, 12:10 AM ET.

Betting Odds

Favorite Spread Favorite Spread Odds Underdog Spread Odds Total Over Total Odds Under Total Odds
Michigan State -2.5 -114 -106 136 -108 -112

Keys to the Game for Michigan State

  • Michigan State has a losing 8-15 record against the spread this year.
  • The Spartans have not fared well as a 2.5-point favorite, going 2-10 against the spread when favored by at least 2.5 points.
  • The Spartans have not hit the over the majority of the time, in nine of 23 games (39.1%).

Against the Spread (ATS) records are only reflective of games that had odds on them.

Michigan State Leaders

  • The Spartans leader in points and assists is Aaron Henry, who scores 15.3 points per game to go with 3.5 assists.
  • Michigan State’s best rebounder is Joey Hauser, who averages 5.7 boards per game in addition to his 9.7 PPG average.
  • The Spartans get the most three-point shooting production out of Gabe Brown, who knocks down 1.4 threes per game.
  • Henry and Marcus Bingham Jr. lead Michigan State on the defensive end, with Henry leading the team in steals averaging 1.3 per game and Bingham in blocks averaging 1.3 per contest.

Keys to the Game for UCLA

  • The Bruins have a losing record against the spread, going 11-14 ATS (covering just 44% of the time).
  • When they are at least 2.5-point underdogs, the Bruins have not fared well, going 5-10 against the spread.
  • UCLA and its opponents have hit the over in more than half of their games this year — 15 of 25 (60%).

Against the Spread (ATS) records are only reflective of games that had odds on them.

UCLA Leaders

  • The Bruins leader in scoring is Johnny Juzang with 14.0 points per game. He also adds 4.1 rebounds per game and 1.8 assists per game.
  • The Bruins leaders in rebounds and assists are Jaime Jaquez Jr. (6.0 rebounds per game) and Tyger Campbell (5.6 assists per game).
  • Juzang leads the Bruins in shooting from beyond the arc, averaging 1.9 made threes per game.
  • Nobody on UCLA grabs more steals than Jaquez (1.2 per game) or blocks more shots than Jalen Hill (1.0 per game).

Computer Picks

Pick ATS:
Bruins (+2.5)

Pick OU:
Over (136)

Prediction: UCLA 72, Michigan State 69

Predictions are calculated by a data-driven algorithm (raw power score) that ranks head-to-head matchup results within a closed network of games. Prediction confidence is determined by the delta between each team’s raw power score.

Head to Head

Michigan State has won both of its matchups with UCLA. The Bruins have beat the spread more often than not against the Spartans, holding a 1-0 record ATS in those head-to-head meetings.

Against The Spread (ATS) records are only reflective of games that had odds on them.
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