While Michigan State coach Tom Izzo is known as Mr. March for the numerous times he has led the Spartans to the Final Four over his Hall of Fame career, it’s not too likely this year’s team will get very far in the NCAA Tournament as a No. 11 seed. Sparty faces fellow No. 11 UCLA in the First Four on Thursday night with MSU as a 2-point favorite at William Hill Sportsbook. Be aware of this, though: No team in the 2021 Big Dance has been a worse against the spread wager this season than Michigan State.
The Spartans are 9-18 ATS, a cover percentage of just 33.0. Only two Power 5 schools were worse and they both missed the NCAA Tournament: Arizona State (6-19, 24 percent) and massive disappointment Kentucky (7-16-2, 30.4 percent). As a favorite, Michigan State was an ugly 3-11 ATS, and it was 2-4 ATS in non-conference games overall.
Those numbers could bode well for UCLA tonight – although the Bruins have the fifth-worst cover percentage in the field of 68 at 46.2 (12-14 ATS).
Texas Tech of the Big 12 has the second-worst cover percentage in the field at 37 (10-17 ATS). The sixth-seeded Red Raiders open play Friday against No. 11 Utah State in South Region action with TTU at -4. As a favorite this season, Coach Chris Beard’s team was 9-14 ATS and at neutral sites 0-3 ATS overall.
Third-worst in the NCAA Tournament ATS is Maryland of the Big Ten with a cover percentage of 42.9 (12-16). The 10th-seeded Terps face No. 7 UConn on Saturday in the East Region with the Huskies as 3-point favorites. As an underdog, Maryland is 5-9 ATS this year.
Worst ATS NCAA Tournament teams
- Michigan State 9-18 (33.3%)
- Texas Tech 10-17 (37.0%)
- Maryland 12-16 (42.9%)
- Florida 10-13 (43.4%)
- UCLA 12-14 (46.2%)
- Creighton 13-15 (46.4%)
- Wisconsin 13-15-1 (46.4%)
Get every pick, every play, every upset and fill out your NCAA bracket with our experts’ help! Join SportsLine now to see which teams will make and break your bracket, and see who cuts down the nets, all from the model that beat nearly 90 percent of brackets last tournament, one year after finishing in the top 5 percent!