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Oddsmakers: MSU favorite in East to reach Final Four

The Detroit News

Michigan State isn't the highest-seeded team remaining in the East Region, but it owns the best odds of reaching the Final Four.

Sportsbook Bovada has the seventh-seeded Spartans as the 7/4 favorites to win their region in Syracuse, N.Y., and advance to the Final Four in Indianapolis. Michigan State (25-11) takes on No. 3 seed Oklahoma (24-10) at 10:07 p.m. Friday in one regional semifinal, following the first regional semifinal between No. 4 seed Louisville (26-8) and No. 8 seed North Carolina State (22-13).

Louisville and Oklahoma have 12/5 odds, while N.C. State has 6/1 odds.

Michigan State is anywhere from a 11/2- to 21/2-point favorite against Oklahoma, according to VegasInsider.com.

Michigan State has 14/1 odds to win the NCAA championship, which is sixth-best among the remaining 16 teams. The five ahead of Michigan State — favorite Kentucky (1/1), Arizona, Duke, Wisconsin and Gonzaga — are the remaining Nos. 1 and 2 seeds in the field.

Similarly, Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight taps the Spartans as the East favorite to reach the Final Four based on his calculations and is one of the "biggest tourney gainers" of the teams that made it out of the NCAA Tournament's first weekend.

"Almost everything has gone Michigan State's way," wrote Silver, an East Lansing native. "The Spartans beat the No. 2 seed in their region, Virginia, and got a lot of credit for it in the model. But the No. 1 seed in the East, Villanova, was eliminated too. The Spartans are now the favorite to reach the Final Four from the East and have some chance to go further than that ..."