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Last Updated Mar 20, 2022, 21:29 PM

Michigan State Spartans vs. Duke Blue Devils Picks, Predictions, Odds

Michigan State as an at-large team from the Big Ten will take on ACC regular season champion Duke in the Round of 32 on Sunday. This game is at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina, scheduled for 5:15 PM ET. 

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Score Prediction

Duke 79, Michigan State 69

Best Bet

Duke -6.5 (-110)

NCAA Tournament Expert Picks | NIT Tournament Picks

MARCH MADNESS BETTING RESOURCES

MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS vs. DUKE BLUE DEVILS PREDICTIONS

Two legendary coaches will meet in the Round of 32 in Coach’s K’s final NCAA Tournament run will be the prominent storyline in this contest with a trip to San Francisco for the Sweet 16 on the line. Tom Izzo’s Michigan State team was a middle-of-the-pack Big Ten much of this season but snuck out a narrow win late Friday night against Davidson to advance, one of six Big Ten teams to advance to the Round of 32. 

Duke has had plenty of doubters this season in what seemed to be a down year for the ACC, but the Blue Devils turned in a convincing Round of 64 win, even if falling just short of the favorite price on Friday. It has been a strong showing for the ACC so far in the tournament with four of five teams winning in the Round of 64 with Duke the only heavy favorite in that group.  

Duke and Michigan State have met somewhat regularly in non-conference action in the last decade and have had a few recent NCAA Tournament meetings as well. Michigan State beat Duke in the Elite Eight 68-67 in the 2019 tournament while Duke beat Michigan State 81-61 in the Final Four in the 2015 Tournament in the two most recent postseason pairings. The most recent head-to-head meeting was early last season in December 2020 with Michigan State winning 75-69 at Duke. 

MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS vs. DUKE BLUE DEVILS BETTING ODDS

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MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS vs. DUKE BLUE DEVILS BETTING RESOURCES

  • Date: Sunday, March 20, 2022
  • Matchup: No. 7 vs. No. 2
  • Region: West
  • Venue: Bon Secours Wellness Arena
  • Location: Greenville, South Carolina
  • TV-Time: CBS - 5:15 p.m. ET

MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS BETTING ANALYSIS

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 23-12
  • ATS: 19-16
  • O/U: 19-15-1

Once 14-2 and 5-0 in the Big Ten, Michigan State finished only 11-9 in the Big Ten season to earn a #7 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Michigan State did beat Wisconsin in the Big Ten tournament and on Friday turned in a comeback win against Davidson in the final six minutes. Joey Hauser starred for the Spartans with by far a season-high scoring 27 points as Michigan State dominated the interior scoring making 21 of 33 2-point attempts. 

A big factor in the win Friday was only seven Michigan State turnovers, an area that has been a big problem spot for the Spartans on offense finishing last in the Big Ten in turnover rate. Michigan State is not a high-volume 3-point shooting team but finished #1 in 3-point percentage on offense and defense in the Big Ten season and the 2-point scoring success in the Round of 64 was an extreme outlier performance for the Spartans who shot 49 percent on 2-point looks in the conference season. Michigan State isn’t a bad defensive team but ranking #59 nationally in defensive efficiency this stands to be the worst Izzo defensive rating since 2005-06. 

As a team that started hot and faded in the Big Ten season, Michigan State still wound up 19-15-1 ATS on the season. That includes going 11-10 ATS vs. winning teams and 7-6 ATS as an underdog. Michigan State was 6-2 ATS as a small underdog of less than five points but was 1-4 ATS priced at +5 or higher. Seven of 12 Michigan State losses came by eight or more points and the Spartans had five losses by 13 or more points for a rare collection of blowout defeats, barely finishing as a positive scoring differential team in Big Ten play.

DUKE BLUE DEVILS BETTING ANALYSIS

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 29-6
  • ATS: 17-15-3
  • O/U: 19-16

Duke is loaded with talent with multiple first round NBA draft picks likely on the roster, led by Paolo Banchero. He is one of three freshman starters for a now 29-6 squad. Duke is 17-16-2 ATS this season, going 8-6 ATS when favored by fewer than 10-point while also going 1-0 ATS in the only underdog instance this season. Duke is just 10-9-2 ATS vs. fellow winning teams, while 6-3 ATS in road games and this venue will present a clear advantage for the Blue Devils, only about 100 miles away from Durham.  

Duke’s offensive efficiency numbers are among the best in the nation across the board with only free throw shooting at a non-elite level. Duke’s defensive profile is a bit short of a typical championship profile however, forcing few turnovers on the season and having some interior vulnerability. While Banchero is 6’10” and 7’0” Mark Williams contributes off the bench, four of five starters are below 6’6” as this is not an overly imposing team in height compared to past standards for the program. Duke’s 3-point defense did improve in the ACC season, but the interior scoring numbers on defense declined.

The 15-point loss in the ACC Tournament final was the worst loss of the season for Duke and the defense was the culprit, allowing 52 percent on 2-point shots and 46 percent on 3-point shots. Duke beat Kentucky and Gonzaga in non-conference play for two of the best non-conference wins of the season from any program but the Blue Devils also had eight non-conference wins outside the nation’s top 150 to pad the statistics. Duke’s lone non-conference loss was in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge with a 71-66 defeat against Ohio State, and Coach K is 0-3 S/U the past two seasons vs. the Big Ten

Duke has won 17 of its last 18 games vs. a non-AP-ranked school on a neutral court. (AP)

INSIDE THE STATS - MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS

  • Record: 23-12
  • PS/G: 72.1 (147th)
  • PA/G: 68.6 (162nd)

INSIDE THE STATS - DUKE BLUE DEVILS

  • Record: 29-6
  • PS/G: 80.1 (8th)
  • PA/G: 67 (112th)

KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • MSU: Gabe Brown - F (11.4 ppg)
  • MSU: Malik Hall - F (9.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg)
  • DUKE: Paolo Banchero - F (17 ppg, 7.9 rpg)
  • DUKE: Wendell Moore - F (13.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 4.6 apg)

MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS vs. DUKE BLUE DEVILS BETTING CONCLUSION

Duke isn’t likely to take advantage of Michigan State’s turnover tendencies but is difficult to see a path for Michigan State to stay with Duke for 40 minutes after posting average Big Ten numbers on both sides of the ball while Duke was a top two team in the ACC on offense and defense, and the historically great conference appears to be underrated nationally given the tournament results so far. 

Tom Izzo has been to eight Final Fours and owns a 52-21 tournament record in his career but that mystique is keeping this price in check and those Final Four teams all had more formidable defenses than this year’s squad. Getting a career game from Hauser again is unlikely and while the Spartans can compete in a 3-point contest, Duke held its ACC foes to just 29 percent from 3-point range and allowed few good outside looks on Friday against Cal-State Fullerton, a game Duke could have won by a more significant margin. Michigan State caught a few big breaks to narrowly beat Davidson Friday and it will be difficult to match that success in this pairing as Coach K may get the best of Izzo in his final opportunity in this pairing. 

MARCH MADNESS PICK RESOURCES

MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS vs. DUKE BLUE DEVILS BETTING TRENDS

  • Duke has won 17 of its last 18 games vs. a non-AP-ranked school on a neutral court.
  • Michigan State has allowed 75 points or less in 11 of its last 12 games vs. an AP-ranked school on a neutral court.
  • Michigan State has won 1H in seven of its last eight NCAA Tournament games when playing at night.
  • Michigan State has seen 145 total points or less in 10 of its last 11 games vs. an AP-ranked school on a neutral court.
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