Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden, Tuesday Nov. 9th
Kansas -5 vs Michigan State
The Jayhawks are coming into this season as one of my favorite teams. Bill Self has himself a very good squad. A squad that will not go 21-9 and get bounced in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament to a team like USC by a whopping 34 points. This team has championship pedigree all over it. 1-8 all these guys can go, but do they Jayhawks have some issues? Sadly the answer to that is yes. Jalen Wilson who averaged 12 PPG last season will not be playing in the season opener due to a DUI which is a huge blow to this team. Remy Martin, who I think could be first team All-American didn’t even start in their exhibition the other night. Why is that? He said to the press “I haven’t been doing my part of the deal. I think I can do alot better.” That could be motivation from Bill Self to get the best from Remy Martin or it could mean Remy Martin has been playing out of control, like he did at Arizona State. That’s an issue that I am sure was addressed in the offseason, but for whatever reason isn’t solved yet. Outside of those two issues this team is stacked and really good. Should they be laying 5 game one vs Michigan State? Well if this was March I would say yes, but for game one vs MSU I would say no. Michigan State in my opinion is a top 40 team, but not a real contender. However, what I do like about them is Tyson Walker at point guard. He’s a transfer from Northeastern who should have full control of the Spartans. Making plays while having a positive assist to turnover ratio. Another thing that is interesting in this matchup is Hauser. Hauser is capable of spreading the floor and potentially getting McCormack away from the basket (I doubt Self puts him on Hauser. He likely puts him on Bingham and Coleman-Lands will start for Wilson and guard Hauser. Either way this could provide a mismatch.) The bench is also an issue for MSU early. They have no guys who averaged over 5 PPG so where does scoring come from? The 5 is appealing for the Spartans, but if I had to play this one it would be Kansas. I’d rather them have Wilson and Remy be more in groove (He likely plays well anyways, but too many question marks.) Pass or play Kansas -5.
Duke -1 vs Kentucky
This is the game of the night and such an appealing matchup. Kentucky is going to be really good. Ignore what they did vs Miles College because it was an exhibition and you can’t really put real stock into it. Plus Kentucky is a team that usually always peaks around March. What I like about Kentucky is they added shooters and may be the deepest team in the country. Kentucky with guys like Wheeler, Mintz, Brooks, Grady, and Washington should have no issues scoring and as a team average closer to 75 points a game. Kentucky also has a lot of guys who have been playing at the collegiate level for a couple years vs in the past it was mostly freshman. I like the veteran feel to them even though it’s mostly transfers. Duke on the other hand likely will start two freshmen and their 6th man will be a freshman. What I do love about Duke though is Mark Williams. He is a pure shot eraser and should cause a lot of problems at the rim for Kentucky. Duke also likely has the freshman player of the year in Paolo Banchero. He is an explosive 6’9 threat that can fill it up at all levels. I expect Joey Baker to take a leap this season and if he does Duke can be very good. A team that likely will win the ACC. Lastly, what I love about Duke is Theo John off the bench. The transfer from Marquette is a brute. When Mark Williams is off the floor he’ll control the glass and give them a true inside presence on both sides of the ball. Duke likely controls the glass and points in the paint vs Kentucky. How Kentucky will win and have to win is hitting shots. Can Kentucky do this? As the season goes on I 100% believe they can and will win games like that. Night one I couldn’t bet on them to do that vs a team like Duke who will be sound on defense. If you are betting Duke you have to worry about the freshman out of the first 6 in rotation to get rid of butterflies and play their best. I doubt we get that from them night one. Major sit back and relax and enjoy this one type of game. Pass.
*Both respectively tip at 7 PM ET and 9:30 PM ET Tuesday night. There are 100+ D1 games Tuesday and I will have my money somewhere. Just waiting for lines to open up to really get down to work on them. I have a couple games circled. These two games will have the majority of money on them and will be massively bet. There are going to be many good betting opportunities Tuesday and as the week/season progresses don’t feel forced to bet these two because they are the marquee games.