March Madness Odds: Public Heavily Favoring Michigan State Over UCLA on FanDuel Sportsbook

Big Ten Basketball Tournament - Michigan State
Big Ten Basketball Tournament - Michigan State / Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The East Region First Four play-in game between the Michigan State Spartans (15-12) and UCLA Bruins (17-9) is drawing solid betting action.

Michigan State vs UCLA Betting

The Spartans are a 2-point favorite in a game with an over/under of 135.5 in the NCAA odds on FanDuel Sportsbook. According to OddsFire, the betting action is one sided favoring Michigan State with 87% of bets and 89% money on the Spartans.

Michigan State opened -1 and the total was 138 when lines were initially released Sunday night.

While neither of these teams is likely to be a Final Four contender, the 11-seed match-up of historical college basketball powers is intriguing. Tip off is at 9:57 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 18. TruTV broadcasts the action from Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, IN, where the Spartans played a month ago in a 10-point loss to Purdue.

Michigan State vs UCLA Matchup

The Big Ten was ranked as the No. 1 conference according to KenPom, suggesting Michigan State has been playing tougher competition all season.

Michigan State has improved considerably since starting conference play with three straight losses including two against non-NCAA Tournament teams. In fact, the Spartans were 2-7 in Big Ten Play before finishing the season 9-11 with late season wins over No. 1 seeds Michigan and Illinois, and No. 2 seed Ohio State.

UCLA finished fourth in the Pac-12, and enters with four straight losses. Three of those were against the top-3 teams to close the regular season - Oregon, USC and Colorado.

The Bruins shoot the ball much better than Michigan State, and UCLA has six players that average double-digit scoring. The Bruins rank No. 26 in the country in KenPom's adjusted offensive efficiency ratings. Michigan State's improved defense and better rebounding showed down the stretch, and has them up to No. 32 in KenPom's defensive efficiency ratings. But an inability to force more turnovers and poor overall shooting (42.4% FG) leaves the Spartans vulnerable.

The public clearly isn't too concerned with that, however, as indicated by the significant money coming in on Michigan State.

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