Michigan State vs. Louisville Betting Odds – Elite 8

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
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Michigan State vs. Louisville Betting Odds – Elite 8

Carrie Stroup here with your Michigan State vs. Louisville betting odds for Sunday’s Elite 8 game.  Line: Michigan State-2.5, Total: 128

Louisville and Michigan State will duke it out for a spot in the Final Four when the teams meet at the Carrier Dome Sunday.

Michigan State faced Oklahoma in the Sweet 16 and came away with a 62-58 victory as a 1-point favorite. The Spartans have now won-and-covered in all three of their NCAA tournament games and they are playing excellent defense, allowing just 58.3 PPG in those contests.

Louisville, meanwhile, defeated North Carolina State 75-65 as a 2.5-point favorite on Thursday. The Cardinals have covered in two straight games and have gotten it going offensively in those victories, averaging 70.5 PPG in those wins. They’ll need to keep scoring the ball efficiently, as they have the defense to keep them in pretty much any game.

These teams last played each other on Mar. 22, 2012. The Cardinals won that game 57-44 as 5.5-point underdogs, but that is their only win both SU and ATS versus the Spartans in their three meetings since 1997. Michigan State is 13-6 ATS when playing only their second game in a week this season. Louisville, however, is an impressive 18-7 ATS in March games over the past three seasons. The Cardinals come into this game completely healthy but the Spartans will not have Javon Bess (Foot), who is out for the season.

Michigan State has been one of the best two-way teams in the nation this year, averaging 71.9 PPG (67th in NCAA) on 47.1% shooting (32nd in NCAA). The Spartans are allowing just 63.0 PPG (82nd in NCAA) on the defensive end, and they allowed just 58 against Oklahoma in the Sweet 16. 

G Travis Trice (15.3 PPG, 5.1 APG, 3.1 RPG, 1.1 SPG) has been playing out of his mind in this tournament. Over the past two games, Trice is averaging 23.5 PPG and he is 14-for-29 from the field and 8-for-17 from three in those contests. Trice is an excellent shooter from the outside (37% 3PT) and will need to keep up his hot streak against a tough Louisville defense.

G Denzel Valentine (14.3 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 4.4 APG) had just four points in the 3rd round against Virginia, but he responded with 18 points and seven rebounds in 38 minutes against Oklahoma in the Sweet 16. Valentine can really shoot from deep (42% 3PT) and also does everything else well. He’ll find his teammates when his shot isn’t falling and he always hits the glass hard. He must play well against Louisville in order for the Spartans to advance.

F Branden Dawson (11.9 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 1.6 BPG) is the guy that will need to man the inside for Michigan State. He’ll be going against a very good Louisville frontcourt, but he can’t afford to not show up. He had just six points against Oklahoma last game, but he did grab 11 boards and block a shot.

Louisville hasn’t been great offensively this season (69.2 PPG, 130th in NCAA; 42.9% FG, 211th in NCAA), but the team has gotten it going recently. The Cardinals are averaging 70.5 PPG over the past two games and that makes them extremely tough to beat with their stingy defense (59.4 PPG allowed, 17th in NCAA).

G Terry Rozier (17.2 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.9 SPG) is a menace on both sides of the ball for Rick Pitino. Rozier was an animal against NC State, finishing with 17 points, 14 rebounds and four assists in 40 minutes of action. He is relentless when attacking the rim and must continue to do so against the Spartans.

F Montrezl Harrell (15.7 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 1.2 BPG) was also unstoppable against NC State on Friday. Harrell had 24 points, seven rebounds, four assists and a block in 40 minutes. He is a very good rim protector and is also capable of dunking anything from within five feet of the basket. He’ll need to perform at a high level against Dawson on Sunday.

G Wayne Blackshear (11.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.1 SPG) is a good defender and a solid outsider shooter (32% 3PT) for this Louisville team. He’s averaging 13.0 PPG in the tournament so far and he’ll need to play some solid defense against Valentine in this game.

G Quentin Snider (4.1 PPG, 1.3 APG) will be an x-factor in this game. He has played great since stepping in as a starter for the Cardinals and is averaging 13.3 PPG in three tournament games so far.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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