NCAA Basketball Picks: North Carolina vs. Michigan State

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 2:26 PM GMT

The North Carolina Tar Heels have owned the Michigan State Spartans during the Roy Williams era, but things may turn out differently Wednesday night. Find out why we have decided to look at the spread with our NCAA Basketball picks tonight.

Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA basketball odds for this Big Ten/ACC Challenge matchup at the Breslin Center, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

[gameodds]14/251406/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Bouncing back 

North Carolina has tallied a superb 50-19-1 ATS record in its last 70 games following a SU loss, as it looks to bounce back from a 63-59 setback to the UAB Blazers as 7.5-point road favorites Sunday. 

The Tar Heels will be facing their second ranked opponent of the 2013-14 campaign—picking up a 93-84 victory over the Louisville Cardinals as 10-point neutral-site underdogs on Nov. 24. 

Top dog 

Michigan State is off to a perfect 7-0 start this season, as it leads the country in assist-to-turnover ratio, which has played a major part in making the program No. 1 in the national polls. 

The Spartans have four players averaging double figures, with sophomore guard Gary Harris leading the way in scoring 17.7 points a contest. 

Series history 

College basketball handicappers will certainly have an interest in backing the Tar Heels in this affair, considering they’ve won 11 of 14 all-time meetings against the Spartans, including all six under head coach Roy Williams. 

North Carolina also has 12 wins over No. 1 teams—more than any other team in college basketball history. 

Quite a situation 

The Spartans are a dominating 257-31 SU at this venue under longtime head coach Tom Izzo, including 74 straight wins against unranked non-conference opponents in that situation.

Michigan State is also a money-making 34-9 ATS as home favorites of 6.5 to 9 points since 1997.

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Spartans with their NCAA Basketball picks, as the favorite has covered the number in seven consecutive meetings in this series, while the Tar Heels are 4-7 ATS in their last 11 overall opportunities as underdogs.

College Basketball Pick:  Michigan State Spartans -9