Duke vs Michigan State Odds, Pick for Tuesday
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images. Pictured: Jared McCain (Duke)
Duke vs Michigan State Odds, Pick
Below, we have Duke vs Michigan State odds and a pick for Tuesday.
One week ago, this was a possible top-five matchup between two of the NCAA's elite. But Michigan State's shocking season-opening loss to James Madison has slid the Spartans down to 18th in the latest top 25. Despite that, this is no team to gawk at, and its potential remains sky high.
Duke, on the other hand, looks to avenge a home loss of its own after falling to Arizona this past weekend.
In what sets up to be an exciting affair inside the United Center as part of the Champions Classic, Duke enters as slight 2.5-point favorites over Sparty.
Another team that suffered a shocking loss on its home floor — though this one is way more understandable — Duke was unable to take down Arizona despite 25 points from Kyle Filipowski.
The Blue Devils certainly have the pieces to sit among college’s elite. Not only do they return Filipowski — one of the best players in the country — but Duke boasts the ideal combination of veteran leadership and underclassmen talent.
Senior Jeremy Roach will once again handle the primary ball-handling duties, while fifth-year Ryan Young provides steady minutes off the bench in relief of Filipowski. Three incoming freshmen rank inside ESPN’s top 25, and both Tyrese Proctor and Mark Mitchell returned — alongside Filipowski — for their sophomore seasons in Durham.
In general, Duke ranks 16th in minutes continuity (65.8%) and 30th in average height.
Defense will remain a strength for this Blue Devils team because of Proctor and Mitchell’s return. In general, Duke’s frontcourt was able to keep 7-foot senior Oumar Ballo in check, but it struggled to clean up the offensive glass. Arizona secured 15 offensive rebounds.
Aggression is the key here for Duke. Through the first two games — granted one was against Dartmouth — the Blue Devils are outside the top 200 in both offensive rebounding and FTA/FGA. Defensively, they're outside the top 200 in defensive rebounding.
It’s worth noting that five-star freshman guard Jared McCain played extremely well against Arizona. He finished with just nine points but filled the stat sheet with five assists, four rebounds and a team-high three steals.
Growing pains are going to be expected from a team that — despite returning plenty of key contributors — is still extremely young. Caleb Foster played 13 minutes against Arizona but logged nothing in the stat sheet. Sean Stewart saw just three minutes, while TJ Power didn’t touch the floor.
Duke’s offense does rank inside the top 15 in Adjusted Efficiency and 38th in 2-point offense. Roach’s presence gives the Blue Devils a smart decision maker who commits less turnovers, therefore less transition opportunities.
I wouldn’t overreact too much to the loss against Arizona — even if Caleb Love got the last laugh in the end. Duke has a deep rotation that’s littered with talent and a great young head coach in Jon Scheyer. The Blue Devils will be just fine.
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Confusion is the right word to summarize Michigan State’s first week of non-conference play.
What was one of the most feared and veteran-heavy squads, the Spartans lost their season opener in overtime to James Madison. This was a team that opened as high as +5000 to win the NCAA tournament before making its way all the way down to +1600 at the season's start. Sparty was ahead of the likes of Kentucky and defending champion Connecticut, among others.
The loss on their home floor was such a shock that head coach Tom Izzo called out his upperclassmen for a lack of leadership in the locker room. After all, the starting lineup doesn't sport a single underclassman.
The following game, a freebie against Southern Indiana, there were plenty of struggles. After a dominant first half that resulted in Sparty leading by 23 at the break, Southern Indiana went blow for blow in the second half. The end result? A 37-point half from one of the bottom-feeders in college hoops.
I wouldn’t press the panic button yet for Michigan State, but there’s definitely a reason to be concerned. This is a team that ranks top-20 in minutes continuity (65.6%) from a season ago and returned five upperclassmen, including fifth-year leading scorer Tyson Walker.
The only key departure was Joey Hauser, and the Spartans rebuffed their bench with three incoming freshmen who ranked No. 27 or higher in ESPN’s rankings.
While Hauser was their best 3-point shooter from a season ago — and MSU rarely did fire from beyond the arc, around 300th in 3PA/FGA — the Spartans are off to a 2-for-34 start from 3.
Yes, you read that right. Michigan State is shooting 6.5% from beyond the arc.
One would suggest positive regression will eventually settle in, and that's extremely fair to say. ShotQuality agrees and not only ranks Michigan State 106th in catch-and-shoot 3s, but 60th in off-the-dribble 3s. This purely looks at the quality of looks MSU is getting regardless of the result.
Overreaction is extremely common in sports, and Michigan State has definitely deserved the criticism it’s received. But this is still a team that boasts high-level talent and a ton of experience. Their backcourt takes care of the basketball and as a team, Sparty is inside the top 25 in assists per field goals made.
Defensively is where Michigan State should succeed. Though only a small sample size, the Spartans are 12th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency and 26th in 2-point defense. They've given up a lot of 3-point attempts, a driving factor being their size in the frontcourt.
All five players that Izzo can throw out at the power forward/center positions are 6-foot-8 or taller. It starts with the veteran duo of Malik Hall and Mady Sissoko and extends down to five-star 6-foot-11 freshman Xavier Booker and sophomores Jaxon Kohler and Carson Cooper.
Deploying a consistent rotation of length around the rim is key against a Duke team that can match any team in the paint with its size.
Duke vs. Michigan State
Betting Pick & Prediction
This line opened with a total at 148.5 and was immediately bet down — for good reason. These are two strong defensive teams that match up well with one another. Tack on the game being played at the United Center, and we could very well see some nerves on both fronts.
While this game does favor Michigan State when it comes to location, I'm not sure how you can bet the Spartans given their struggles over the last two games. Rather, let's talk a bit about this total. I lean Sparty as a side.
Both teams rank inside the top 20 when it comes to minutes continuity. That means that a lot of familiar faces return, and there weren't signifiant overhauls within the programs. That means that when it comes to pace of play, it's a bit easier to predict.
Last season, Duke and Michigan State were inside the top 40 in KenPom's Adjusted Offensive Efficiency. But that doesn't necessarily mean a lot of points. In fact, the two operated at a snail's pace. The Blue Devils ranked 298th in Adjusted Tempo and 303rd in average possession length. Michigan State? It was 306th and 273rd, respectively.
Just look at that game against Arizona for the Blue Devils. It eked over 150 points and that came with Arizona operating at a high-flying pace. Michigan State is anything but that.
Both teams prefer to play slower, methodical games. Their defenses carry a bulk of the load too and often slow down opponents. Michigan State's offense has struggled to get going — especially behind the arc — but that should just translate to tougher defense being played in an expected down-to-the-wire affair.
Back the under here among two of the NCAA's best.
Pick: Under 142.5 (Play to 140)
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