The Michigan State Spartans will try to clean up their spotty play from their first-round game and advance to the Sweet 16 on Saturday when they face the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament. The Spartans (29-6), the No. 2 seed in the East, started slowly against 15th-seeded Bradley on Thursday, trailing 35-34 at halftime, before pulling away for a 76-65 win. The Gophers (23-13) had a much easier time of it on Thursday, jumping Louisville from the start in an 86-76 win. Michigan State won the only meeting between the Big Ten rivals this season. Tipoff is set for 7:45 p.m. ET at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. The Spartans are favored by 10.5 points in the latest Michigan State vs. Minnesota odds, while the over-under for total points scored is 139.5. Before making any Michigan State vs. Minnesota picks of your own, be sure to check out the 2019 NCAA Tournament predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has raked in the winnings for those following its picks. Over the past two years, the SportsLine Projection Model has returned over $4,000 to $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks. It also entered the postseason on a strong 11-5 run on all top-rated college basketball picks. Anyone who has followed it is way up.
Now the model has honed in on Michigan State vs. Minnesota. We can tell you it is leaning over, but it has also generated an extremely strong against-the-spread pick that cashes in nearly 70 percent of simulations. That one is only available at SportsLine.
The model has considered that Michigan State is one of the top defensive and rebounding teams in the country. The Spartans rank third in the nation in field goal percentage defense (37.9) and fifth in rebound margin (9.0).
In the first matchup between the teams, a 79-55 Michigan State win on Feb. 9, the Spartans hounded Minnesota, limiting the Gophers to 36.7 percent shooting and out-rebounding them by five. Michigan State also forced Minnesota into 16 turnovers. The combination of defense and rebounding helped the Spartans win despite a subpar game from Cassius Winston, who played only 24 minutes because of foul trouble.
But just because the Spartans beat the Minnesota six weeks ago does not guarantee they will cover the Michigan State vs. Minnesota spread and advance in the 2019 NCAA bracket.
If the Gophers shoot on Saturday like they did against Louisville on Thursday, they will be tough to beat. Minnesota made 11-of-27 three-pointers (40.7 percent) and 29-of-58 shots overall (50.0 percent) against the Cardinals.
Junior guard Amir Coffey continues to have a hot hand. In his last seven games, he's shooting 50.5 percent from the field, 37.1 percent on 3-pointers, and averaging 23.0 points. Against Louisville, he had 18 points but got help from Gabe Kalscheur (five 3-pointers and 24 points) and Jordan Murphy (18 points).
So who wins Minnesota vs. Michigan State? And which side of the spread can you bank on in nearly 70 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Minnesota vs. Michigan State spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that's up more than $4,000 on top-rated college basketball picks the past two seasons.