Michigan State vs. UCLA Picks & Best Bets — March Madness 2021

Posted By PlayPicks Staff on March 16, 2021 - Last Updated on March 20, 2021

A spot in the Round of 64 of the NCAA Tournament bracket is at stake when Michigan State Spartans (15-12) and the UCLA Bruins (17-9) square off on Thursday, starting at 9:57 PM ET, live on TBS. Michigan State has been named a 2-point favorite as these teams attempt to advance to the opening round.

The betting insights and predictions in this article reflect betting data from DraftKings as of March 15, 2021, 4:10 PM ET. See table below for current betting odds and CLICK HERE to bet at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Best Betting Odds

Computer Picks

Pick ATS:
Bruins (+2)

The model line is much more favorable to the Bruins compared to the DraftKings line, a 5.2 point difference, and has them favored to win Thursday’s game outright. Put your money on the Bruins.

Pick OU:
Over (136)

The model predicts a total 4.5 points higher than the one set by DraftKings for this matchup.

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.

Examining the Over/Under

  • The average implied total for the Spartans this season is 75.7 points, 6.7 more points than their implied total of 69 points in Thursday’s game.
  • This season, Michigan State has outscored its implied point total for this matchup (69) 13 times.
  • The 71.8-point average implied total on the season for the Bruins is 4.8 more points than the team’s 67-point implied total in this matchup.
  • UCLA has scored more than 67 points in 18 games this season.

Implied totals are projected point totals for each team based on totals and spreads set by sportsbooks.

Michigan State and UCLA Records ATS

ATS Record ATS Record Against 2+ Point Spread Over/Under Record (O-U-P)
Spartans 8-15 2-10 9-14
Bruins 11-14 6-11 15-10

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

Betting Tips – Shooting Stats

  • The Spartans make 42.5% of their shots from the field this season, which is 1.3 percentage points lower than the Bruins have allowed to their opponents (43.8%).
  • Michigan State has put together a 4-6 record against the spread and a 10-2 straight-up record in games it shoots higher than 43.8% from the field.
  • UCLA has a 5-4 record against the spread and an 8-2 record overall when its opponents make more than 42.5% of their shots from the field.
  • The Bruins’ 46.1% shooting percentage from the field this season is 3.6 percentage points higher than the Spartans have allowed to their opponents (42.5%).
  • UCLA has compiled a 10-8 record against the spread and a 14-5 record overall in games when it shoots higher than 42.5% from the field.
  • Michigan State is 13-4 overall and 7-7 against the spread in games it allows opponents to shoot over 46.1% from the field.
  • The Spartans are making 32% of their three-point shots this season, 3.2% lower than the 35.2% the Bruins allow opponents to shoot from deep.
  • Michigan State is 4-5 against the spread and 7-3 overall when it shoots better than 35.2% from deep.
  • UCLA is 6-1 against the spread and 6-2 overall when its opponents make more than 32% of their shots from deep.
  • The Bruins shoot 36.8% from three-point distance this season. That’s 5.3 percentage points higher than the Spartans have allowed their opponents to shoot from deep (31.5%).
  • UCLA has a 7-9 ATS record and has gone 12-5 straight-up when making more than 31.5% of its three-point attempts.
  • Michigan State has a 7-8 ATS record and an 11-7 straight-up record in games this season when it makes more than 36.8% of its three-point shots.
  • When UCLA makes more three-pointers than its opponents, it is 6-2 against the spread and 7-2 overall. When Michigan State is out-shot from beyond the arc by its opponents, it is 3-8 ATS and 6-6 straight up.

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