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College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Louisville vs. Michigan State: Why Cards Will Cover on Road

College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Louisville vs. Michigan State: Why Cards Will Cover on Road article feature image

Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Samuell Williamson

  • Michigan State hosts Louisville in a much-anticipated Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
  • The Cardinals are coming off a title in the Baha Mar Bahamas Championship, while the Spartans made the finals of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
  • D.J. James has you covered with a preview and his bet for this matchup.

Louisville vs. Michigan State Odds

Wednesday, Dec. 1
7:15 p.m. ET
Louisville Odds
-110o / -110u
Michigan State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The Michigan State Spartans and the Louisville Cardinals face off in the last night of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. This looks to be possibly the most competitive matchup of teams and a heavily anticipated game between two marquee programs.

MSU dropped its last contest to Baylor in a forgettable second half of basketball, while Louisville looked sharp in its last two games against notable competition.

The Spartans have had a rebounding advantage in many of their early-season games, but the Cardinals may be their kryptonite for everything they do well.

This game’s spread should be much closer than is currently listed.

Louisville Cardinals

Louisville comes to East Lansing with a 5-1 record and its only loss being to Furman in overtime.

Coach Chris Mack found some complimentary players in the transfer portal to revamp the roster for this year. They lost their two leading scorers in Carlik Jones and David Johnson from last season, but they seem poised to make a run at the NCAA Tournament, an opportunity they sorely missed in 2020-2021.

Louisville has an aggressive defense again this season, as it has four players averaging over one steal per game in Malik Williams, Jarrod West, Jae’Lyn Withers and Matt Cross. This will come in handy, as the Spartans are keen on turning the ball over (22.1% of the time).

The Cardinals have held opponents to 18.2 seconds per possession on defense, so this may slow the pace down. Their defense has held opponents to 29.1% on 3s, which is yet another edge they have over MSU.

Louisville boasts a solid rebounding team, too. The Cardinals only allow opponents to find offensive rebounds at a 22.8% clip, which negates the advantages typically provided to Marcus Bingham Jr. and Joey Hauser on MSU.

The Cardinals have the forwards to match MSU down low, so they could essentially eliminate any MSU offensive rebounding advantage. Keep in mind that Williams averages almost two more rebounds per game for Louisville than Bingham has hauled in for MSU.

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Michigan State Spartans

MSU has a similarly-built team to the Cardinals. They crash the glass and do not allow many outside shots, but they do rank second thus far in defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.

Although this is slightly higher than Louisville, the two are essentially a wash since this is Louisville’s best strength, too.

However, MSU turns the ball over at an alarming rate. A.J. Hoggard and Tyson Walker are averaging at least 2.6 turnovers each game. Baylor took advantage of this shortcoming, with MSU coughing up the ball 19 times in the matchup.

The Bears also matched the Spartans on the glass. Expect the same from an aggressive Louisville defense. The combination of Williams, Samuell Williamson and Withers will wipe out MSU’s largest edge over its competition.

Sure, Hoggard, Walker and Max Christie are more talented than the backcourt of the Cardinals, but that does not seem like it will come into play as much here.

Walker and Malik Hall are Tom Izzo’s only deep threats, and the Spartans rank 321st in college basketball as only 29.9% of their shots come from beyond the arc.

It’s doubtful that Izzo would suddenly alter his game plan. They do not have nearly enough artillery to knock down a litany of 3-pointers all of the sudden.

Louisville vs. Michigan State Betting Pick

These teams are virtually the same at this point in the season. Louisville has all of the answers to MSU’s strengths, and it should show in this game. The Cardinals will be equal on the defensive end and they may even out-rebound the Spartans.

Take Louisville at +5 and play it to +2.5. They could even win outright.

Pick: Louisville +5 (Play to +2.5)

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