- The Spartans finished 28-6 in the 2018-19 regular season
- Michigan State is a heavy favorite to claim a second straight Big Ten regular-season crown
- Tom Izzo only lost two starters from last year’s roster
After the Michigan State Spartans finished with a 28-6 record in the regular season and shared the Big Ten title with Purdue, the oddsmakers have slated them as the team to beat in the conference in 2019-20.
Michigan State beat Michigan 65-60 last year to capture their sixth Big Ten Conference Championship. Not only are the Spartans the favorite to win the Big Ten, but they currently have the best odds to win the 2020 National Championship as well.
Odds to Win 2020 Big Ten Regular-Season Title
|Team||Odds at BetOnline*|
*Odds collected 9/11/2019.
Spartans 2019-20 Roster
Michigan State have their star, and 2019 Big Ten Tournament MVP, returning for his senior season; Cassius Winston. The Detroit, Michigan native averaged 18.8 points, 7.5 assists, and 3.0 rebounds per game last year for the Spartans and also received the Big Ten Player of the Year Award.
Michigan State is also hoping for senior guard Joshua Langford to participate in the full 2019-20 season, as he played in just 13 regular season games last year. Despite playing in just over 10 games, Langford still managed to average 15.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game last season. Being able to add Langford for a full season will be crucial to Michigan State’s title run.
Michigan State lost Matt McQuaid, Kenny Goins, and Nick Ward, as they move on with their basketball careers this year. However, the Spartans added two recruits, Rocket Watts Jr. and Malik Hall, that will be able to provide an immediate impact.
Watts Jr. is a prolific scoring guard. Being a 6’2″ guard, he has the size to play with bigger guards, and the speed and skill to blow by defenders to create his own scoring chances.
Their second-highest ranked recruit in 2019 might be even more intriguing than Watts. Hall is a 6’7″ power forward that can play almost any position on the floor. Hall played point forward in high school, finishing with the third-most assists on his team behind two guards.
Strong Schedule Once Again
Michigan State started their 2018-19 season with a loss against then-#1 Kansas 92-87. This year, the Spartans schedule is just as tough. Some of their more notable non-conference games include Kentucky, Duke, Virginia Tech, and Seton Hall. The Spartans have lost to Duke in November three out of the last four years.
Michigan State was 16-4 in conference play last season, losing three in a row in early February and dropping both meetings against Indiana. For the last three seasons, the Spartans have struggled in late January and early February. However, behind Tom Izzo’s experienced coaching they always tend to get back on track quickly.
The Spartan Way
Although Michigan State is the shortest favorite to win their conference out of all Power 5 conferences right now, they are still the right pick to win the Big Ten.
Michigan and Maryland will be nipping at the heels of Michigan State, but both teams lost players and did not replace as well as the Spartans did. The Spartans still have Winston and Langford, their best two players from last year, and they added two young studs who will add versatility to their offense.
After the two freshman get settled in early in the season, the Spartans will be able to push the envelope for their 16th Big Ten regular season title.
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