Your Betting Guide for Sunday’s March Madness Matchup

Michigan State vs. duke odds

Welcome to the sixth and final meeting between Tom Izzo and Coach K in the NCAA Tournament. Since the first meeting two decades ago, the Blue Devils are 3-2 SU and 2-3 ATS in those five meetings.

In the regular season, Coach K dominated Izzo. But Izzo gets the Spartans rolling in March, so the split isn’t surprising.

The Blue Devils are the clear favorites in this one, however. Sparty struggled in the second half of the season, being rewarded a No. 7 seed for their efforts.

But Duke is criminally overvalued as a No. 2 seed, and we know this rivalry is always intense.

So, is seven points too many?


Turnovers. Turnovers. Turnovers.

Sparty is 224th nationally in offensive turnover rate and finished dead last in Big Ten conference play. Their 452 total turnovers this season ranks outside the top 300.

MSU relies heavily on its guard tandem of AJ Hoggard and Tyson Walker, and those two racked up assists this season. Both are top-15 nationally among DI players in assist rate, while Hoggard actually paced the nation.

As a result, Michigan State is top-15 nationally in assist rate as a team.

But turnovers reared their ugly heads time and time again. It’s a big reason why Michigan State lost seven of its last 10 games.

But Duke won’t pressure the ball. The Blue Devils rank outside the top 300 in defensive turnover rate and outside the top 350 in non-steal turnover rate.

So, Michigan State has the upper hand in this game already.

The win over Davidson was gritty and impressive, as the Spartans gutted out a one-point victory as a two-point underdog (on the closing line). Joey Hauser was huge in that game, dropping 27 points on 5-for-6 from 3.

I think Hauser will be important again in this one. Duke is very inefficient defending both catch-and-shoot 3s and off-the-dribble 3s, and Hauser should get plenty of those opportunities.


Duke’s No. 2 seed should’ve gone to Tennessee. The Vols rank higher in the analytical metrics and in the NET.

But here we are.

At least Duke blew by Cal State Fullerton in the first round, unlike some other teams on its seed-line (ahem, Kentucky).

Duke will try and run, although it hasn’t gotten out in transition as much this season. The Devils have been particularly efficient in cutting situations, ranking top-five nationally in ShotQuality PPP.

Banchero is the guy. He’s averaging 17.6 points over his last five games, but people forget he can be a playmaker. He’s averaging 4.2 assists over his last five and ranks in the 95th percentile among DI players in assist rate (17.8%).

He’s been relatively inefficient this season, but his high usage rate forgives some of that.

The best thing the Blue Devils do is take care of the basketball. They’re third nationally in non-steal turnover rate. They tend to get shot off.

Additionally, the Devils led the ACC in offensive rebounding rate. They also tend to get a second shot off.

The development of Mark Williams helped with that. The 7-foot center cracked the top 40 this season in offensive rebounding rate, and he actually led the Devils in ORtg at a whopping 140.

But the versatility of Williams makes the Blue Devils particularly dangerous. In Duke’s first-round game, Williams dropped 15 points, grabbed seven boards, dished five assists and recorded five blocks.

That’s called filling up the box score.

6-10 + 20-year-old Duke C Mark Williams established position, finished around the basket, brought incredible energy on the glass + altered the game on defense. He put up 15 PTS, 16 REBS, 4 ASTS, 3 BLKS + 1 STL in 33 MINS to help the Blue Devils advance to the ACC Tourney semis pic.twitter.com/gDMBwcwxCZ

— DraftExpressContent (@DXContent) March 11, 2022


Michigan State vs. Duke Betting Pick

Duke just hasn’t impressed me this season. All the Blue Devils did was let teams hang around in a super-weak ACC, and then the committee supervised them.

Duke jumped out to a huge lead against CSF, but let the Titans hang around toward the end of the half. The Titans ended up covering in the end.

Now, the Blue Devils are laying seven points against an Izzo-led team, and over 65% of the early tickets are on them. I’m thinking the Blue Devils are overvalued.

The key will be Michigan State not turning the ball over. But given Duke doesn’t force too many turnovers, Walker and Hoggard could dish out close to 20 assists.

I’ll take the points with Sparty.

Pick: Michigan State +7 (Play to +6.5)