First-round action of the NCAA Tournament tips off Thursday with 64 teams remaining to vie for advancement. The No. 6 seed Colorado State Rams and No. 11 seed Michigan Wolverines open play on Thursday (10:15 a.m. MT) in Indianapolis, Ind.
With so many games, the NCAA Tournament is one of the most wagered events on the sporting calendar. Today, we’re going to consider Colorado State vs. Michigan March Madness betting odds and preview some of the keys to the matchup.
Colorado State vs. Michigan March Madness Betting Odds And Preview
In spite of Colorado State drawing the superior seed, Colorado sportsbooks have installed Michigan as the short favorite. FanDuel Colorado is giving the Rams 2.5 points on the point spread and pricing them at +116 on the moneyline.
This may come as a mild surprise given the Rams’ 25-5 mark and No. 24 ranking in the AP’s latest Top 25 poll. However, Michigan played in the Big Ten which sent nine teams to the tourney. The Mountain West Conference, meanwhile, sent four teams dancing — a respectable number, but not nine.
Rams’ Backcourt versus Wolverines’ Size And Balance
If Colorado State is to pull off the upset — based on odds, not seeding — it will be on the strength of its backcourt duo.
David Roddy (19.4 points per game) and Isaiah Stevens (14.9) control the action and lead the scoring for the Rams. They are the only two on the team scoring in double figures, so success will hinge on their form.
Michigan brings a more balanced attack to the mix. Four Wolverines average double-digit scoring, including center Hunter Dickinson (18.3) and forward Caleb Houstan (10.5).
Dickinson (7-1), Houstan (6-8), and Moussa Diabate (6-11) highlight the size advantage the Wolverines hold in this pairing. Colorado State’s Dischon Thomas (6-9) is the biggest body that gets run for the Rams, but he only averages 15.8 minutes per game.
Colorado State isn’t prolific from three-point-land. The Rams average 7.6 treys per contest, converting at a 35.8 percent clip. They shoot better from deep than Michigan (6.4, 34.0 percent), but is it enough to shift the balance of this matchup?
It’s difficult not to back the Wolverines and lay the points in this opening round tilt. Don’t forget to shop around — not just for this matchup, but for all wagers. At the time of this post, DraftKings Colorado is offering Michigan at -2 (-115).