Michigan State Spartans
Kentucky Wildcats
Tue, Nov 5 - 9:30p ET   |   ESPN
By Landon Smith

#1 Michigan St Spartans vs #2 Kentucky Wildcats Basketball Betting Lines / NCAA Picks

For only the second time in NCAA Division I history, the No. 1 and 2 teams will open their seasons against each other, as No. 1 Michigan State takes on No. 2 Kentucky in the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York on Tuesday.


Betting Odds & Stats
#1 Michigan State Spartans Lines #2 Kentucky Wildcats
-128 Opening Odds +108
-2 (-107) Spread +2 (-107)
Over 139.5 (-110) Total 139.5
#1 Michigan State Spartans Concensus #2 Kentucky Wildcats
56% Spread 44%
Over 47% Total Under 53%
#1 Michigan State Spartans Score and stat #2 Kentucky Wildcats
56.0 Predicted Score 73.0
0-0 (0-0 ATS) Stats/Additional 0-0 (0-0 ATS)


Reason for #1 Michigan State Spartans vs #2 Kentucky Wildcats NCAAB Tips

#1 Michigan State Spartans -2

The Spartans came within a game of challenging Virginia for the national title last season, but Texas Tech put an emphatic end to that pipe dream. Yet, the chances of the Spartans actually winning a championship doesn’t seem at all like a pipe dream this season.

Michigan State's problems usually come when facing pressure defenses, as Winston can force things and commit turnovers, so look for Kentucky to be in his face for much of this game. The fact that Winston doesn't have running mate Joshua Langford (foot injury) to lean on for help won't make the Spartans' situation any better.

Freshman guard Rocket Watts looks like the player to keep an eye on as the leading candidate to fill the void. He has good handles and vision to go along with his long-range shooting abilities. With a name like Rocket, the young guard could legitimately serve as the fuel to take the Spartans championship hopes into orbit.

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#2 Kentucky Wildcats +2

The Wildcats have to remain tough on offense against the Tom Izzo-coached Spartans. The Michigan State defense offers no opportunity for finesse scoring, setting the stage for a physical basketball game. A pair of five-star freshmen could get the starting nod on Tuesday in forward Khalil Whitney and guard Tyrese Maxey.

Nate Sestina The 6-9 forward averaged 15.8 points and a Patriot League-best 8.5 rebounds a season ago, and he'll be expected to be a stabilizing force in the paint. Sestina averaged 12.0 points and 9.0 rebounds in Kentucky's two exhibition games, shooting 64.7 percent from the field, and could be a big factor against MSU's smaller front line.

Whitney is a 6-6, 210-pound wing who averaged 19.4 points per game at Roselle Catholic H.S. in New Jersey. He has the long, athletic frame to make an impact right away. Maxey, at 6-3, 198, comes from Garland Texas and is considered one of the premier shooters in this year's freshman class.


The Pick: #1 Michigan State Spartans -2, Over 139.5




By Landon Smith, on 9:30p ET