Best Bet for UNC vs MSU: Take Sparty to Cover vs the Heels

  • The best bet of the Round of 32 is on Michigan State to cover the spread versus North Carolina at online sportsbooks.
  • The Spartans have thrived as an underdog against the spread this season, while UNC has struggled in games with tight spreads.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Michigan State to cover as a 4-point underdog win versus North Carolina may be the best bet for the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament.

Michigan State vs North Carolina Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Michigan State +4.0 (-110) +145 O 140.0 (-115)
North Carolina -4.0 (-110) -170 U 140.0 (-105)

Why Michigan State May Cover the Spread vs North Carolina

Michigan State and North Carolina are both coming off great performances in the first round of the tournament, with each team covering the spread in their wins at March Madness online sportsbooks. Both teams were favored to win and took care of business.

The issue for North Carolina is that now instead of being a 25.5-point favorite versus a 16-seeded Wagner Seahawks team, they will face Tom Izzo’s squad as a 4-point favorite.

That tight spread with UNC as the favorite is important, as Michigan State has dominated ATS as an underdog, while North Carolina has struggled in games that US online sportsbooks deem close matchups.

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Consider these trends:

  • Michigan State is 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven games this season as an underdog. They have won outright in those games twice.
  • In their last eight games as a favorite of ten points or less this season, North Carolina is just 2-6 against the spread and 4-4 outright.
  • Another interesting trend per Chris Fallica is the historic struggles of one-seeds in the Round of 32 when the spread is as tight or tighter than the four points college basketball sportsbooks are giving UNC.
  • The trend highlighted that there have been seven one-seeds favored by four or less in the second round of the tournament since 1985 and all of them but one have failed to cover. Five of the seven one-seeds lost.

Other trends to review for the North Carolina versus Michigan State matchup include:

  • Nine seeds have covered versus one seeds in three of the four matchups since 2022, but no nine seed has outright beaten a one seed since Florida State took down Xavier in 2018.
  • The over has hit in 20 of the last 30 matchups between the nine and one seeds, with the over hitting the last five times that the seeds have faced off.