Texas Tech is in the Final Four for the first time ever, but should you bet on the Red Raiders to cover against Michigan State?
The Michigan State Spartans upset the overall favorites to win the 2019 NCAA Tournament in the East Region as the No. 2 seed last Sunday, and now they are favored to advance to the national championship game in the second game of Saturday's Final Four.
The Spartans are listed as 2.5-point favorites on the March Madness lines against the West Region champion Texas Tech Red Raiders at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com after knocking out the top-seeded Duke Blue Devils 68-67 as 2.5-point underdogs.
Led by East Region Most Outstanding Player Cassius Winston, Michigan State is trying to win its first national title since 2000. That is also the last time the Big Ten won the NCAA championship despite the Spartans making 10 Sweet 16 appearances or better between 2001 and 2018 and the Michigan Wolverines getting to the title game twice in the previous five years.
Texas Tech is in the Final Four for the first time ever, and the last Big 12 school to win it all was the Kansas Jayhawks in 2008.
The Red Raiders are the nation's best defensive team, and they have won 13 of their last 14 games while failing to cover the spread just twice, according to the OddsShark College Basketball Database. They upset the second-seeded Wolverines as 1.5-point underdogs in the Sweet 16 and the top-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs 75-69 as five-point dogs in the Elite Eight to get here. The total has gone UNDER in three of their last four games.
Stylistically, this should be a low-scoring game between two teams that like to play at a slow pace, as Michigan State has also seen the UNDER cash in three straight games and five of six going back to the team's run to the Big Ten Tournament championship.
In fact, the Spartans have not allowed an opponent to score more than 67 points since a 77-70 win over the Ohio State Buckeyes in their first game of the Big Ten tourney - a stretch of six games. Texas Tech has not given up more than 69 points in the NCAA Tournament either, so take UNDER 132.5 on the March Madness odds as the best bet in the second game too.