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2017 March Madness Round of 64 – Michigan Wolverines vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys Predictions, Picks and NCAA Basketball Betting Preview

2017 March Madness Round of 64 – Michigan Wolverines vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys Predictions, Picks and NCAA Basketball Betting Preview

No. 7 Michigan vs. No. 10 Oklahoma State Preview

Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis

When: Friday, March 17, 12:15 PM ET

Line: Michigan Wolverines (-2.5) vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (+2.5); total: 154.0 – view all NCAAB lines

TV Broadcast: CBS

College Basketball News and Previews

Betting on the Michigan Wolverines (24-11)

Point Spread: -2.5

Oh what a near-death experience could do to a college basketball team. The Wolverines were involved in a scary plane ride not too long ago, but they emerged out of it like a new team, winning five-straight games to capture the Big Ten title.

This is the kind of momentum the Wolverines are riding into their matchup with Oklahoma State. Derrick Walton Jr. averaged 20.5 points, 6.3 assists during the Wolverines’ title run in the Big Ten tournament, and he’s just one of the few others on the team whose experience in the Big Dance could buoy Michigan up. Senior Zak Irvin and junior D.J. Wilson have been steady all season long for the Wolverines, chipping in 12.8 PPG and 10.6 PPG, respectively.

The Wolverines like to light it up from deep. They are 25th nationally in made three-pointers per game (9.4) on a decent clip of 38.1%.

Up against a team like the Cowboys, who don’t give much emphasis on defense, Walton and company should be able to get their offense clicking early before Oklahoma State realizes it has to play tighter defense.

Michigan is 6-0 SU in its last six games playing in neutral locations.

Betting on the Oklahoma State Cowboys (20-12)

Point Spread: +2.5

The pair of Jawun Evans and Jeffrey Carroll could easily embarrass opponents when they don’t get paid the respect their games deserve. Evans went through the regular season averaging 19.0 PPG, while Carroll was second on the team with 17.4 PPG.

The Cowboys, however, aren’t just a two-man team. Phil Forte completes a deadly trio of Cowboys with his 13.3 PPG to go with a 42% shooting from long range. Speaking of three-pointers, Michigan could find itself in a shootout with the Cowboys, who drains 9.0 threes per game on an exceptional 40.3% clip—eighth best in the nation. With the triumvirate of Evans, Carroll, and Forte spearheading the Cowboys’ attack, the team is able to average 85.5 PPG.

Oklahoma State could get more possessions than usual in this game, considering that it’s the superior rebounding team over the Wolverines. The Cowboys average 36.7 boards per contest, while Michigan records just 29.5.  They will have to cut down on their turnovers, though. They commit 13.3 miscues per game.

Writer’s Prediction

Oklahoma State (-2.5) wins, 78-75.

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Written by Rex

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