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Author: Brad Cunningham
Duke vs. Michigan State Odds
|Duke Odds||-4.5 [BET NOW]|
|Michigan State Odds||+4.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-195 /+160 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||152 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. ET|
The Champions Classic kicks off fittingly on Tuesday as Michigan State battles Duke.
The Spartans got their season off on the right foot by blowing out Notre Dame at home on Saturday night. Head coach Tom Izzo’s squad is going to have to deal with the loss of its best player and point guard Cassius Winston, but it does return the rest of its production from last season. Replacing Winston at point guard will be the Spartans’ biggest question mark. If they can’t do so successfully, it’s going to be a long season for Michigan State in a loaded Big Ten.
This season may be the lowest-rated recruiting class that Mike Krzyzewski has had in the last five years. Duke didn’t land a top-10 recruit, but it does return Wendell Moore and Matthew Hurt from last year’s roster. However, without a big star in the lineup, it could be the most balanced team Coach K has seen in years. KenPom has Duke projected at No. 3 to start the season, so this will not be a down year for the Blue Devils.
Duke Blue Devils
Despite what he tries to tell the media, Krzyzewski has a one-and-done factory firing on all cylinders in Durham. This year, though, is going to be a tad different. The Blue Devils are going to have to replace most of their production from last season without Tre Jones, Vernon Carey and Cassius Stanley. However, they do still have four five-star recruits on their roster, including freshman Jalen Johnson, who is a legit No. 1 scoring option.
The Blue Devils without a doubt have the talent and depth to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament, but they’ll have to figure out who their go-to scorer is before then. Duke’s depth also will be tested as the team relies on a lot of freshmen and transfers to produce.
The Blue Devils opened their season against Coppin State and were able to win by only 10 points despite being -39.5 favorites. They will need to drastically improve their level of play on Tuesday, or else Michigan State will hand them an early loss.
Michigan State Spartans
The Spartans head into the season with high expectations once again, despite losing Winston. Izzo is likely going to have to rely on his team’s returning players because Michigan State only landed two recruits in the offseason.
However, the Spartans have a very talented roster returning that includes Rocket Watts, Joshua Langford and Aaron Henry. They also added Marquette transfer Joey Hauser, who will immediately find his way into the starting lineup.
Despite losing Winston, Michigan State’s offense is not expected to see a major drop in production. KenPom has the Spartans projected as the ninth-best offense in terms of efficiency.
The biggest change for Izzo’s team, though, is going to be on the defensive end of the floor. Last season, the Spartans were top-10 in effective field goal percentage allowed, 2-point percentage allowed and 3-point percentage allowed. If the Spartans can return to those types of numbers in 2020, they will be making a deep run in the tournament.
Betting Analysis & Pick
This is a classic matchup of Michigan State’s experience vs. Duke’s talent. The key for the Spartans will be on the defensive end. If they can replicate their defensive numbers from last season, they should be able to hang with the Blue Devils.
I have Duke projected as favorites at -2.49 and -128 on the moneyline. Therefore, I think there’s value on the experienced Spartans to win this game outright.
Pick: Michigan State +160 (down to +150).
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Author: Brad Cunningham