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Spartans National Title Odds Drop to +1100 After Loss to Duke; Blue Devils’ Improve to +900

Blair Johnson

by Blair Johnson in College Basketball

Updated Apr 8, 2020 · 3:48 PM PDT

Tom Izzo on the MSU sideline
Tom Izzo was understandably grumpy after his Spartans lost their third game of the year at home versus Duke on Dec. 2nd. Photo by Twitter user (@JCPGATA)
  • Duke’s National Championship odds improved to +900 thanks to an 87-75 beat down of Michigan State
  • The Spartans’ odds plummeted from +850 to +1100 with the loss
  • Michigan State is now 5-3 on the season

The Duke Blue Devils (8-1) saw their National Championship odds move from +950 to +900 thanks to an 87-75 beat down of the Michigan State Spartans (5-3). Meanwhile, the Spartans’ 2020 March Madness odds plummeted from +850 to +1100 with the loss.

Odds to win the 2020 NCAA Championship

Team Odds
Louisville +800
Duke +900
Kansas +900
Kentucky +1100
Michigan State +1100
North Carolina +1300
Maryland +1500
Oregon +1600
Michigan +1800
Arizona +2000
Gonzaga +2000
Memphis +2000
Virginia +2000
Florida +2500
Ohio State +2500

Is it worth buying high on Duke or buying low on the Spartans? Let’s break it all down and make a prediction.

Outcoached, Outplayed, Outworked

That was Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo’s assessment of his team’s 87-75 loss to Duke at the Breslin Center on Tuesday night. Not exactly the performance MSU fans hoped for, especially with Spartans legend Draymond Green in the house for his jersey retirement.

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This one was ugly from the get-go. Sparty committed four turnovers in the first three minutes and trailed by more than 15 points for much of the second half. And the Blue Devils were without their third-leading scorer, Cassius Stanley.

Izzo said the effort showed “the moment was too big” for his team. Not exactly what you want to see from a preseason AP No. 1 with national championship aspirations playing at home!

Ratings Darling

Even though Michigan State has now lost to Kentucky on a neutral floor, at Virginia Tech, and at home against Duke, the Spartans are still No. 3 in the KenPom.com rankings and still rank first in adjusted offensive efficiency. But even Sparty’s best win, a 76-73 win at Seton Hall, had flaws.

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It took a meltdown for the Pirates, who were up by five points in the final 1:50, for Michigan State to come back and earn a three-point victory thanks to a 10-2 run to close the game. That’s how close the preseason favorite is to being 4-4. This team has flaws.

Big Ten Company

Along with plenty of upheaval in the top spot of the AP rankings so far in the 2019-20 season, the big story in college basketball has been Michigan State’s in-state rival. What Juwan Howard’s Michigan Wolverines have done thus far has been spectacular. UM’s tournament win at the Battle 4 Atlantis catapulted the Wolverines to No. 4 after not being ranked.

Yes, they lost badly at new No. 1 Louisville last night, but this Wolverine team is clearly better than preseason expectations.

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The move from unranked to top five in the AP poll hadn’t been pulled off since the 1989-90 Kansas Jayhawks did it.

On top of a resurgent Michigan team, Maryland and Ohio State have been juggernauts early on. Both the Terps and Buckeyes are still undefeated.

Michigan State is going to have some battles once conference play gets underway in a few weeks. Even if you’re still a believer in Cassius Winston, Xavier Tillman, and company, fade them for now, because those +1100 odds are sure to drop further.

Pick: Fade Michigan State at +1100 to win it all

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