The 13th-ranked Michigan State Spartans will look to remain unbeaten while recording its first-ever Champions Classic win over the ninth-ranked Duke Blue Devils when the two nationally-ranked title hopefuls meet in the opener of the star-studded annual tournament, now in its 10th year of existence.
With Michigan State playing its third game of the season and Duke looking to build on its season-opening win on Saturday, let’s find out which team is looking like the better pick against the value-packed College Basketball odds in this highly-anticipated affair on Tuesday night.
NCAAB Betting Preview – No. 13 Michigan State at Duke Odds and Picks
Champions Classic records, history
The Champions Classic is in its 10th season after beginning in 2011. Here is each team’s record in the event through the first nine years:
- Duke: 6-3
- Kentucky: 5-4
- Kansas: 4-5
- Michigan State: 3-6
Why Bet On No. 13 Michigan State
After routing overmatched Eastern Michigan 83-76 on Nov. 28 in their regular season opener, Michigan State convincingly took out Notre Dame 80-70 on Saturday to cover the chalk as an 8.5-point home favorite. Junior forward Aaron Henry scored a team-high 14 points while adding eight boards and four blocked shots after withdrawing from the NBA Draft to return to Michigan State for another year.
“Aaron Henry is playing some of his best basketball,” Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said. “He’s starting to become a complete player. I’m really proud of Aaron and how he’s handled everything.”
Sophomore guard Rocket Watts added 13 points and six assist to help the Spartans get the win. Michigan State harassed the Fighting Irish offense into a 35.1 percent shooting mark in their season-opening win. The Spartans closed the first half with a 17-0 run and opened the second half by scoring the nine points. Still, the only school that hasn’t beaten one of the other three schools in the Champions Classic tournament is Michigan State, which has gone 0-3 against Duke. Michigan State is averaging 81.5 points per game so far this season while allowing 68.5 points per contest.
- Michigan State are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games.
- Michigan State are 7-0 SU in their last 7 games.
- Michigan State are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games against Duke.
- Michigan State are 1-8 SU in their last 9 games against Duke.
- The Over is 4-1 in Michigan State’s last 5 games on the road.
Why Bet On No. 9 Duke
Ninth-ranked Duke took out Copping State 81-71 in its season-opening matchup on Saturday despite failing to cover the spread as a whopping 39.5-point favorite. 6-2 freshman point guard guard DJ Stewart had a team-high 24 points on 10 of 18 shooting while adding nine rebounds. 6-9 freshman forward Jalen Johnson added 19 points, 19 rebounds and four blocks in the win.
“There was a lot of game pressure on our team today,” head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “It’s such an unusual atmosphere.”
The Blue Devils were set to face Gardner-Webb on Wednesday but that game was postponed due to coronavirus problems surrounding the Runnin’ Bulldogs program. Now, the young ACC title hopefuls face a big test in their second game together.
- Duke are 11-3 SU in their last 14 games.
- Duke are 8-0 SU in their last 8 games at home.
- Duke are 15-1 SU in their last 16 games against an opponent in the Big Ten conference.
- Duke are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games played in December.
- The Over is 13-4 in Duke’s last 17 games as a favorite.
No. 13 Michigan St (2-0) at No. 9 Duke (1-0) General Match Info
- When: Tue, Dec 1, 2020 at 7:30 PM ET
- Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium
- NCAAB Odds: Duke -3.5 (Approximate)
Expert Analysis and Prediction
While Duke is brimming with young talent and at least two likely one-and-done freshmen, I like Michigan State’s better team balance and the fact that they have some nice experience in returning guards Foster Loyer, Rocket Watts and Joshua Langford, not to mention an added dose of experience in the form of Marquette transfer Joey Hauser.
Both teams lost some important players from last yeas title-hopeful teams with Duke’s Tre Jones and Vernon Carey Jr. off to the NBA and Michigan State losing floor leader Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman. Still, I think experience will reign in this early season meeting, though Duke looks like it will be a lot better as the season moves forward and the young team starts to find its new identity.
Michigan State has won seven straight dating back to last season while going 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. While Duke has gone perfect 4-0 ATS in its last four home games, the Blue Devils have dropped three of its last 14 games dating back to a year ago while going an uninspiring 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Tuesday games. With the Underdog and road team in this rivalry going a perfect 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings, I like the Michigan State Spartans to cover the spread – by winning outright!
Pick: Michigan State
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