The biggest match-up in college basketball today will be between Michigan State and Gonzaga who will be facing off on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln as part of the Armed Forces Classic. We’ll break down the game and get into what the betting information looks like in this match-up as well.
Tom Izzo’s Spartans enter off a win in their first game of the season and are currently unranked. Michigan State is exceptionally deep this season and features a nice mix of veteran presence along with some really talented young players as well. There is no true superstar player for the Spartans but all the guys they do have play their roles very well.
A.J Hoggard and Tyson Walker man the backcourt for the Spartans and are who Izzo relies on. Veteran forward Joey Hauser led the team in scoring on opening night and has as good of catch and shoot ability as anyone in the country. In terms of young talent, Jaxon Kohler is a name to watch as the top 50 recruit will certainly play a big factor as the season moves forward.
The Spartans should be able to score on Gonzaga much easier than teams have been able to in previous years. The Bulldogs are still extremely talented and led by Drew Timme but it might take time for this team to gel on defense after losing Chet Holmgren. Gonzaga is still ranked #2 in the country and Mark Few hit the transfer portal hard bringing in guys like Malachi Smith and Efton Reid.
Look for Smith to take over a large portion of the scoring alongside Timme as the Chattanooga transfer has an immense scoring ability. It may take time to build chemistry on the defensive end but Gonzaga has the advantage tonight when it comes to length. Once the teams get adjusted to the new settings it should be a very high-paced game between these two.
This game opened at varying numbers depending on the sportsbook. Gonzaga opened up favored anywhere between -9.5 and -11 but despite opening at different numbers the current consensus amongst the books is Gonzaga favored by -11.5. As of today, this number is consistent across the board.
The point total has seen a large dip between the opening number and where it sits now. FanDuel opened this game at 154.5 while other books opened it at right around 146. The total now sits at 142.5 in a majority of the books as it seems like bettors don’t trust the conditions the teams will be playing on to be conducive to points.
Trying to bet this game close to tip-off can become difficult as the point total is much closer to what everyone is expecting and the half-point now in the Gonzaga spread makes that number much less appealing. Fox Bet Sportsbook currently still has Gonzaga at -11 so if you are able to grab that number I think it’s the best bet available across the board.