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Michigan State and UCLA Give Big Time Feel to First Four Betting!

UCLA Bruins vs. Michigan State Spartans Betting March Madness

The first four are comprised of eight bubble teams that must play-in to the Big Dance with a win.  Because of this, fans often associate it with marginal lesser-known teams.  But Thursday’s game between Michigan State and UCLA defies that stereotype.  When it comes to iconic March Madness betting brands, the Spartans and Bruins are of the first rank.  Michigan State coach Tom Izzo is one of the greatest in the history of the sport.  Gamblers flock to MSU matchups because of Izzo.  UCLA coach Mick Cronin is highly-respected but not as well-known by the masses.

UCLA Bruins vs. Michigan State Spartans Betting Information

Date: Thursday, March 18, 2021
Time: 9:57 p.m. ET
Location: Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, Indiana
TV Coverage: TBS

UCLA vs. Michigan State Betting Odds

UCLA +2½ (-110) 135½ (-110) +125
Michigan State -2½ (-110) 135½ (-110) -145
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UCLA Bruins vs. Michigan State Spartans CashBet Wagering Analysis

This blue blood matchup will draw a large sportsbook handle.  UCLA was a disappointment this year.  At the onset of the season, the Bruins were a trendy 2021 March Madness betting pick.  Departures wiped out Michigan State’s roster.  Many observers believe the Spartans don’t even rate a First Four opportunity.  Squares not paying attention the regular season will back Sparty to the hilt.  That leaves a potential betting value opportunity for UCLA.  Especially when you consider that Michigan State flooded bettors with red ink in 2020-21.  What’s problematic is that UCLA didn’t bring profits for the season either.

Sparty Finds the Payout Window in March to the Madness

Following a horrible majority of the season, Michigan State finally started paying at the end.  MSU has gotten the cash in five of their last seven games.  And has gone under the total in six consecutive games.  As a result, MSU is 15-12 straight up, 9-18 against the spread, and 10-17 under the total.  National metrics indicate Sparty is not a strong bet on NCAA basketball contenders.  MSU ranked 230th out of 350 teams for scoring and 195th for points allowed.  Of major concern are rankings of 248th for 3-point shooting and 151st for defensive rebounding.

Junior forward Aaron Henry leads Sparty with 15.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.  Accordingly, Henry has scored in double digits in 25 out of 27 games this season.  This has been the best season of his career.

No Profits Bruin Lately for UCLA

Late on, UCLA has covered only two of their last five games.  Over the total has paid in three of their previous five contests.  UCLA’s record is 17-9 straight up, 12-14 vs. the line, and 15-11 over the total.  National metrics show UCLA is more impressive than Michigan State.  Consider the Bruins are 143rd out of 350 teams for scoring and 108th for points allowed.  UCLA ranks 27th in the country for defensive rebounding and 41st for 3-point shooting.

Sophomore guard Johnny Juzang has been a positive force for the Bruins.  To illuminate, Juzang leads UCLA with 14 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.  Senior guard Chris Smith adds 12.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per contest.

UCLA vs. Michigan State Against the Spread

Michigan State has covered only one of their last five neutral site games.  And then as chalk, the Spartans are 3-11 vs. the odds.  MSU is 7-10 on the board in non-conference games.

By contrast, UCLA is 3-4 vs. the line in neutral site games.  The Bruins are 2-3 on the board as dogs.  UCLA is 4-2 vs. the odds in non-conference matchups.

On the whole, UCLA has gotten the money in five of their last six games against

Michigan State.  Four of the last five games in this series went under the total.

UCLA Bruins vs. Michigan State Spartans CashBet Free Pick  

In this situation, the wrong team is favored.  UCLA is a much more qualified 2021 March Madness Betting contender.  Michigan State got a First Four bid based chiefly on branding.

UCLA vs.  Michigan State CashBet Best Bet: 

UCLA Bruins


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