Underdog Picks: March Madness Player Props For Michigan State vs. Mississippi State

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Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated
Underdog Picks

In the opening matchup of first-round March Madness odds, the ninth-seeded Michigan State Spartans are favorites against the eighth-seeded Mississippi State Bulldogs. Hence, Chris Jans’ team is an extremely short underdog to win outright. Elsewhere, the total is . Let’s examine two players going over or under the prop total for Underdog picks.

You will generally select two, three, or four players and then determine if their fantasy scores will do just that.

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Underdog fantasy picks: Michigan State vs. Mississippi State

First, I’d target Mississippi State center Tolu Smith to score “higher” than 13.5 points. After fully recovering from a nagging foot injury, Smith has tallied 30 minutes or more in five of his last seven games. Although Smith only played 23 minutes in the Bulldogs’ upset victory over Tennessee in the SEC tournament quarterfinals, that was because the Bulldogs led by double digits throughout.

Unless the 6-foot-11 senior deals with foul trouble, he also has a tasty matchup versus Michigan State’s big men. The Spartans’ defense ranks in the 39th percentile of opponents’ at-the-rim field goal percentage. If Tom Izzo gives freshman Xavier Booker more playing time to utilize a five-out look offensively, it will become even more exploitable on the low block at the other end.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs’ stout pick-and-roll defense should stymie the Spartans, particularly when MSU point guard Tyson Walker is the primary ball handler. With Walker also needing to score more in this game to increase Sparty’s chances of advancing to the second round — similar to their most recent loss against Purdue — I’d consider Walker to produce “lower” than 6.5 rebounds and assists.

Sportsbook Player props

March Madness betting odds: msu vs. Mississippi State

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Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia all outlaw wagers on college basketball props. Plus, 10 others match the guidance of banning in-state school prop betting. The remaining states with sportsbooks permit betting on college props, including in-state teams.