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Guard Markquis Nowell of the Kansas State Wildcats handles the ball during the second half against the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Guard Markquis Nowell of the Kansas State Wildcats handles the ball during the second half against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images/AFP.

The Michigan State Spartans and Kansas State Wildcats each impressed on their way to the Sweet 16. Here is our best Michigan State vs. Kansas State prediction based on the top NCAAB odds.

The Spartans took down the USC Trojans and the Marquette Golden Eagles to earn their place in the Sweet 16. The Spartans have been playing ahead for most of the tournament, and when they do fall behind, they only do so briefly. They led for the final 17:14 of the game against the Trojans, and they led for the last 12 minutes against the Golden Eagles.

The Wildcats led for nearly the entire game against the Montana State Bobcats before winning a dog fight against the Kentucky Wildcats in the second round. Point guard Markquis Nowell has been electric so far. He has 44 points, 23 assists, and six steals in two games this tournament.

Here is our best Michigan State vs. Kansas State prediction (odds via BetMGM; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Michigan State vs. Kansas State odds

Michigan State vs. Kansas State prediction

Markquis Nowell Over 6.5 assists (-105 via BetMGM) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Nowell has garnered a lot of acclaim for his NCAA Tournament performance, but his phenomenal play stretches back to the end of the regular season. In his last seven games, Nowell has recorded at least eight assists six different times.

The Spartans allowed just 11 assists to the Golden Eagles in their Round of 32 win. While some of that success has to be chalked up to good defense, the Golden Eagles also struggled from the floor. For the game, they hit just 38.5% of their field goals. 

Check out our March Madness best bets and expert picks for the Sweet 16

Against the Trojans, the Spartans allowed 15 assists. On the season, they rank 178th in the country, allowing 12.8 assists per game. The Spartans’ defense is clicking right now, but Nowell is in total command of the Wildcats’ offense.

The Wildcats were underdogs to a lower seed in the Round of 32, and they came away victorious. Being doubted is nothing new for them or Nowell. They have all the right pieces to pull off the upset on Thursday night, but with this number a full assist lower than it should be, this is the best play of the game.

Check out our best March Madness odds and Wooden Award odds.

Michigan State vs. Kansas State best odds

BetMGM (-105)

DraftKingsFanDuelBetMGMCaesarsPointsBet
Over 6.5 assistsOver 6.5 assistsOver 6.5 assistsOver 6.5 assistsN/A
-110-120-105-152N/A

The number is the same at each of the five major sportsbooks, but the price is vastly different across the board. Caesars is offering the incredibly inflated price of -152, and it is likely that the number will move up to seven before long, yet it will still be more expensive than the other sportsbooks.

Because of the price, BetMGM is the easy choice for this one. It may feel like oddsmakers are trying to bait bettors into taking this Over, but when you look at what is happening at FanDuel and Caesars, it really feels like this is just an overvaluing of the Spartans’ defense.

Michigan State vs. Kansas State odds analysis

The Spartans opened as 1.5-point favorites, and there has been very little movement despite the Wildcats receiving a majority of the love from bettors. As of Thursday morning, 63% of bettors are backing the Wildcats to cover.

The total opened at 137.5 and that is where it has stayed. With bettors nearly evenly split between the Over and Under, it is very unlikely that this number is going to move with any significance before tipoff.

Michigan State vs. Kansas State game info

  • Date: Thursday, March 23, 6:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: TBS
  • Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

Michigan State vs. Kansas State pick made 03/22/2023 at 10:26 a.m. ET.

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