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Saturday's Tip Sheet

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The first Saturday of the New Year is jam packed with a number of great matchups in men’s college basketball as 14 of the top 25 teams in the nation will be in action that day. Most of these teams will be facing a conference foe which makes things even better if you love to wager on the games. We have honed-in on three afternoon showdowns in particular for this Saturday’s betting tip sheet involving a ranked team from the Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC that is each facing an early test on the road.
 
No. 5 Michigan State Spartans at Indiana Hoosiers (CBS, 2:00 p.m. ET)
 
The Spartans lone straight up loss of the season against 12 previous victories was a 79-65 setback to North Carolina on Dec. 4 as 10-point home favorites. They have covered in their last four games to improve to 6-4-2 against the spread on the year. The total has been evenly split 6-6, but it has stayed UNDER in five of their last six outings.
 
Michigan State has four players scoring in double figures with both Gary Harris and Adreian Payne averaging 17 points a game. It is averaging 83.3 PPG as a team while shooting an effective 48.7 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from three point range. The Spartans are ranked 15th in the nation in rebounds with 41.5 a game.
 
Indiana is coming off an 83-80 loss to Illinois this past Tuesday in its Big Ten opener to fall to 10-4 SU on the year. The game ended as a PUSH with the Hoosiers closing as three-point road underdogs. They are 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven games and 6-6-1 ATS on the year. The total has gone OVER in four of their last six games.
 
To avoid a 0-2 start in conference play, Indiana will need a big day from Yogi Ferrell and Noah Vonieh. Ferrell leads the team in points (17.7) and assists (4.1) and he is the team’s biggest scoring threat from outside with a 44.4 shooting percentage from beyond the arc. Vonieh is chipping in another 12.3 points while pulling down 9.5 rebounds a game as part of a team average of 45.4 rebounds, which is the fourth best total in the country.
 
The Spartans opened as slight 1 ½-point road favorites for this Big Ten clash.
 
The home team in this series is 16-5 ATS in the last 21 meetings and the underdog has covered in four of the last five games. The total has gone OVER in four of those five games.
 
No. 6 Oklahoma State Cowboys at Kansas State Wildcats (ESPNU, 4:00 p.m. ET)
 
Oklahoma State comes into its Big 12 opener with a 12-1 SU mark in non-conference play. It is 5-4 ATS after covering in three of its last four games and the total has gone OVER in its last two games after staying UNDER in the previous four outings.
 
The Cowboys have been one of the highest-scoring teams in the nation so far with an average of 86.8 points while shooting an impressive 50.3 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from three-point range. Marcus Smart leads a foursome of players scoring in double figures with an average of 17.2 points followed by Markel Brown’s 16.5 points a game.
 
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Kansas State lost three of its first five games SU but it has been perfect ever since with a 10-3 SU mark heading into conference play. The Wildcats have covered in six of their last seven games to run their record ATS to 6-4-1. They have been a profitable team to wager on when it comes to the total line. It has stayed UNDER in nine of 10 games with a posted line.
 
The Wildcats will be at a major disadvantage when it comes to scoring with just 67.4 PPG, so it will be up to a defensive effort that is holding opposing teams to 57.8 PPG to keep the Cowboys in check. Marcus Foster is the team’s leading scorer with 13.8 points and Shane Southwell is adding 11.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists a game.
 
Oklahoma State opened as a seven-point road favorite over the Wildcats for Saturday afternoon’s contest.
 
The Cowboys have failed to cover in four of the last five meetings overall and they are 0-4 ATS in their last four trips to Kansas State. The total has gone OVER in five of the last seven meetings between the two.
 
No. 7 Duke Blue Devils at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (CBS, 4:00 p.m. ET)
 
Duke rolled over Elon 86-48 this past Tuesday as a 16 ½-point favorite in its final tune-up heading into ACC play. It went 11-2 SU in non-conference play while posting an 8-5 record ATS. The Blue Devils have covered in four of their last five contests and the total has stayed UNDER six of their last seven games.
 
Freshman phenom Jabari Parker has lived up to all the hype with a team-high 21.4 PPG and 8.0 RPG. The Blue Devils are averaging 85.2 PPG while shooting a rock solid 50.2 percent from the field and 41.1 percent from beyond the arc. One area of weakness has been under the boards with just 35.3 rebounds a game.
 
The Fighting Irish will make their ACC debut with an overall SU record of 9-4 after dropping two of their last four games with losses to North Dakota State and No. 3 Ohio State. They are 4-6-1 ATS after failing to cover in four of their last six games and the total has stayed UNDER in four of those outings.
 
Notre Dame should have been able to keep pace on the scoreboard in this matchup with an average of 80.1 PPG but suddenly there is a huge void in its lineup. Jerian Grant had been a force with 19 points a game while shooting 51.8 percent from the floor and 40.8 percent from three-point range but he is no longer with the team due to an academic violation. Garrick Sherman and Pat Connaughton have been two other go-to players for the Irish with a combined for 27.7 PPG and 14.8 RPG, but Eric Atkins will also have to step up his game after averaging 13.2 PPG so far this year.
 
Duke will head on the road as a four-point favorite for their first ever conference clash against the Fighting Irish.
 
The last time these two teams met was in the first round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament with the Blue Devils coming out on top 84-77 as 16-point favorites.
 
 

  
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