It wasn’t pretty at times, but the Michigan State Spartans made it to the Big Dance. Tom Izzo’s latest crew won five of their last seven regular-season games (at 4-3 ATS), making enough of an impression to earn a 7-seed for March Madness despite crashing out in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.
At press time, the Spartans (19-12 SU, 15-16 ATS) are 2-point favorites at SugarHouse for Friday’s First Round matchup with the No. 10 USC Trojans (22-10 SU, 17-15 ATS), who also lost their opening-round tilt in the Pac-12 Tournament.
These are two evenly matched teams with plenty of prestige behind them, but Michigan State happens to be the sharp side for your college basketball picks – and twice as sharp if you’re a Michigander looking to place your first sports bet.
Southern California Trojans vs. Michigan State Spartans
Friday, March 17, 2023 – 12:15 PM EDT at Nationwide Arena
Free Bets up to $500
That’s because the fine folks at SugarHouse also have this sweet deal for new customers in the Mitten State. After you set up your account, use the promo code SPORTS when you make your initial deposit, then place your first bet on Sparty.
If the unthinkable happens and Michigan State doesn’t cover, you’ll receive a free bet of that same amount, up to $500. You can use this free bet anytime within 30 days before it expires.
We should mention here that if your free bet wins, you only receive the profit from that wager – you don’t get your original stake back. But this is still a great deal, and you can maximize that bonus bet by using it on a heavy moneyline dog that you happen to like.
Victory for MSU
Whatever you choose to do with that free bet, the first step is to bet on Michigan State this Friday. They’re the better team according to Ken Pomeroy’s advanced stats; he has the Spartans ranked No. 32 overall in Division I according to efficiency, and USC at No. 36.
Better still, SugarHouse has -108 vigorish attached to this bet at press time instead of the standard -110. Those two cents might not seem like much, but you only need to be right 51.9% of the time ATS to break even at -108 juice, compared to 52.4% at -110.
Those half-points of percentage add up in the long run, and the bigger your edge, the bigger you should bet. But in this case, the smart thing to do is wager the full $500 on Sparty so you can max out your free bet bonus, as long as your bankroll is big enough and you’re not gambling with money you can’t afford to lose. Bet accordingly, and enjoy the game.
NCAAB Pick: Michigan State -2 (-108) at SugarHouse