Michigan State finally escaped the Big Ten gauntlet, only to get arguably the best double-digit seed in the entire NCAA tournament in the first round when it faces off against Davidson — the Atlantic 10 regular-season champion — on Friday in Greenville, South Carolina.
The Spartans have won three of their past four games but are just 5-8 over their last 13, making them somewhat vulnerable on the eve of the tournament.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats are still reeling from a stunning 64-62 defeat to Richmond in the A-10 championship game on Sunday. Davidson is 2-2 over its last four games and suddenly looks a bit shaky as well after a dominant regular season.
Michigan State vs Davidson Odds
Michigan State vs Davidson CBB gameday odds are current as of 2 p.m. ET on Monday, March 14, and courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
- Moneyline: Davidson (+100) @ Michigan State (-120)
- Spread: Davidson +1.5 (-110) @ Michigan State -1.5 (-110)
- Over/Under: Over 140.5 (-110) / Under 140.5 (-110)
- Implied Score: Michigan State 71, Davidson 69.5
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Michigan State vs Davidson Prediction
Upsets are prominent this time of year, which means we have to take some chances with our NCAA best bets. Davidson over Michigan State wouldn’t rock the college basketball world like other upsets that are inevitably going to happen, but this matchup has all the makings of one.
The Wildcats have a superior record (27-6 vs 22-12), which makes them dangerous against a middle-of-the-pack major-conference team that might rest on its laurels.
Davidson’s best player, Foster Loyer, is also a Michigan State transfer with an ax to grind against Tom Izzo and the Spartans.
- Print your 2022 March Madness bracket.
Loyer averaged 16 points and three assists per game — one of four Wildcats players who averaged double-digit points per game for a balanced Davidson offense that ranked 58th in scoring at 75.6 points per game.
The Wildcats are also an elite team from downtown, ranking eighth in three-point percentage at 38.6%.
The Spartans are a strong three-point shooting team (22nd in the country), too, and defend the three well, but they’re challenged offensively. Michigan State ranked 148th in scoring (72.1 points per game) and had just one player — senior forward Gabe Brown — average at least 10 points per game.
Michigan State vs Davidson Score Pick
Davidson 72, Michigan State 65
The Spartans’ offensive deficiencies are glaring and the Wildcats have played exceptional defense, especially of late. Davidson has allowed 70 points just once in its last nine games.
Loyer will be out for revenge against his former team, and the Wildcats should be able to bomb in enough shots from outside to mitigate any size disadvantage.
Michigan State vs Davidson Best Bets
Under 140.5 Total Points (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
Michigan State is going to struggle to put up points here, especially against Davidson’s stifling defense. The Spartans are used to grinding out low-scoring contests in the Big Ten, anyways.
Meanwhile, there have been fewer than 140 points in nine of Davidson’s past 11 games, solidifying the Under as our CBB bet of the day.