Duke vs. Michigan State - 11/18/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Michigan State Spartans (1-0) at Duke Blue Devils (2-0)
College Basketball: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Bankers Life Fieldhouse)
The Line: Duke Blue Devils -6.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Michigan State Spartans and Duke Blue Devils play Tuesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Michigan State Spartans survived their first matchup against the Navy Midshipmen, 64-59. Michigan State shot 47.2 percent from the field and had 38 rebounds, while the Spartans defense held Navy to 40.7 percent shooting and forced 10 turnovers. Travis Trice led the way with 25 points and five assists, while Branden Dawson had 12 points and eight rebounds. Despite dishing out six assists, Denzel Valentine was just 2-10 from the field and didn’t get to the free throw line once. In fact, the Spartans shot just 10 free throws the entire game. While the performance wasn’t great, the Michigan State Spartans are a fairly young team and are replacing a ton of talent. This is one of your typical MSU teams that will improve as the season plays out. Alvin Ellis III is questionable for this game with an ankle injury.
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The Duke Blue Devils are already 2-0 with wins over Presbyterian and Fairfield. On the season, Duke is averaging 111 points per game on 62.6 percent shooting and is allowing 51.5 points on 38.1 percent shooting. Of course, we’ll find out just how good this young Duke team is against better competition in this matchup, as the numbers are likely to change a bit. Freshman Jahlil Okafor leads the way with 18 points and 7.5 rebounds, while Justise Winslow is averaging 16.5 points on 54.5 percent shooting from the field. Quinn Cook has made seven of 14 three attempts and Amile Jefferson has 10 offensive rebounds. The Duke Blue Devils have simply crushed their first two opponents and so far are living up to the hype of being the favorite to win the ACC. This game could put Duke over the top early on as the real team to beat.
The Spartans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. Atlantic Coast and 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Blue Devils are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games and 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall. The over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
I told myself before the line dropped that I'm taking MSU if its getting five or more points. It's too early in the season to get a good feel for either team and Tom Izzo is too great of a coach to underestimate. To me this is a toss-up with the amount of talent on both teams and getting this many points with a Spartans squad that could win SU is the pick.