The No. 4 Michigan State Spartans (4-1) and the No. 9 North Carolina Tar Heels (5-0) battle in the Phil Knight Invitational – Victory at Moda Center at the Rose Quarter. Michigan State opened as a 1-point favorite, while the games Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 161 points. Action begins at 8:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, November 26, 2017, and it can be seen on ESPN.
North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Michigan State Spartans Betting Preview
The last time the Tar Heels played, they dismantled the Arkansas Razorbacks, 87-68. Luke Maye was the top scorer from either team with 28 points on 11-for-16 shooting. North Carolina played a nearly flawless game. They had a superb free throw rate of 0.270 (above their season average of 0.244) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 34.4 (below their season average of 35.9). For those same stats, Arkansas recorded marks of 0.069 and 20.5, respectively.
The Spartans will look to keep it rolling after blowing out the Connecticut Huskies in their last contest, 77-57. Michigan State received a boost from Cassius Winston, who was the games high scorer with 28 points on 12-for-15 shooting. Michigan State played a nearly perfect game. They had a turnover percentage of 10.2 (better than their season average of 19.7) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.545 (below their season average of 0.593). Connecticut put up marks of 17.4 and 0.412, respectively, for those same stats.
Second-chance opportunities might be rare for Michigan State in this matchup. Since the 2016-17 season, the Spartans rank 152nd in offensive rebounding percentage (30.2 percent), while North Carolina ranks 10th in defensive rebounding percentage (75.9 percent). Ball security should be an advantage for the Tar Heels. They rank 28th at avoiding errors (turnover percentage of 16.3 percent), while the Spartans have forced the 27th-fewest turnovers in the nation (opponents turnover percentage of 16.4 percent).
These two teams are complete opposites in terms of the O/U total. Games involving North Carolina have gone over 75.0 percent of the time, while 66.7 percent of Michigan State games have finished under. The Tar Heels have the superior straight up (SU) record (5-0 vs. 4-1), but both teams have similar against the spread (ATS) records. North Carolina is 3-1 ATS, while Michigan State is 3-2 ATS.
North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Michigan State Spartans ATS Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – North Carolina, ATS Winner – North Carolina, O/U – Under
Betting Notes (2016-Present):
- The Tar Heels rank third in assists per game (18.2) while the Spartans rank 113th in assists allowed per game (12.6).
- North Carolina ranks first in rebounds per game (43.8) while Michigan State ranks 107th (36.9).
- Michigan State ranks 30th in blocks per game (4.9) while North Carolina ranks 249th in blocks allowed per game (4.4).
- The Spartans rank 70th in three pointers allowed per game (19.4) while the Tar Heels rank 280th (23.8).
- North Carolina ranks 80th in steals per game (6.9) while Michigan State ranks 285th (4.4).