Louisville Now +800 Favorite To Win NCAA Tournament As Michigan State Stumbles Again
Feast week was a wild one as we saw several big teams go down. It’s bled over into this week as we’ve now seen the Michigan State Spartans lose again. It was one thing for them to be stunned at home by Virginia Tech but on Tuesday, they lost at home to No. 10 Duke, which now puts the Spartans at 5-3 on the season. They’re now +1100 to win it all.
NCAA TOURNAMENT ODDS: +800
Louisville became the No. 1 team in the country this week and for anyone who questioned them, they quickly reinforced their rating. On Tuesday, they stomped No. 4 Michigan 58-43 to improve to 8-0. A lot of people were questioning their legitimacy because they really hadn’t played anyone else to date. However, they showed very well over Michigan – a team that is also being considered as a No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament – and have put the doubters to rest for now. Forward Jordan Nwora is performing like one of the best players in the country right now, scoring 21.9 points on a healthy 50.5% from the field to go with 6.9 rebounds. If he keeps playing like this, the Cardinals are going to be a problem all season long.
DUKE BLUE DEVILS
NCAA TOURNAMENT ODDS: +900
The Blue Devils are priced at +900 because they lost at home to Stephen F. Austin. This was just the third non-conference overtime loss for Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium. That tells you how rare it is for Duke to lose a non-conference home game in overtime. It happened in 1971 to the Pennsylvania Quakers. It happened in 1981 to the Vanderbilt Commodores. It happened against the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks last week. Duke also lost one of its main players, Cassius Stanley, to a leg injury against Winthrop last weekend. They are profoundly struggling, and now their roster has been diminished. This will be a struggle for Duke.
NCAA TOURNAMENT ODDS: +1100
The Wildcats are priced at +1000. They would be priced higher if they had not lost at home to Evansville. Kentucky hasn’t lost another game since the Evansville embarrassment, but the Wildcats are not winning home games against mediocre teams by large and convincing margins. This is a team which is clearly still trying to find itself as they should be stomping teams like UAB by more than 11 points.
Keep in mind that this is not that different from last season when Kentucky started very slowly and didn’t really begin to pick things up until January. That might be the case again this season. This is the risk of having a program in which so many players leave after just one or two seasons. It is the model John Calipari has chosen, but if he isn’t landing the very best recruits, it can have some noticeable limitations. Those limitations are in evidence right now for the Wildcats.
MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS
NCAA TOURNAMENT ODDS: +1100
The Spartans are priced at +1100, which is still among the top choices on the leaderboard. Michigan State has risen back mostly because the oddsmakers aren’t too concerned with their early-season losses. They’re also still among the leaders because Duke, who beat them on Tuesday, suffered a stunning loss at home to Stephen F. Austin last week, an unfathomable event.
Remember that this team is without Josh Langford, who was expected to be a key cog in this team’s 2020 season. However, Langford was injured last season, and Michigan State still powered past the competition to make the Final Four and come very close to winning the national title. Trust in coach Tom Izzo is ultimately the main reason Michigan State will continue to be valued highly. Lots of other reasons will be given, but none as convincing as Izzo being the guide on the MSU bench.
TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS
NCAA TOURNAMENT ODDS: +2500
The Red Raiders are priced at +2500, and it is surprising that their price isn’t even lower. They just lost to both Iowa and Creighton this past week in the Las Vegas Invitational. Iowa might have a good team, but Texas Tech’s inability to bounce back the next night against Creighton might be the more alarming sign of how limited the Red Raiders are this season. They did an incredible job last season en route to the national title game, but without Jarrett Culver this season, they don’t have a scorer who can complete take over a game. That might be a bigger concern than many people realized.
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