Champions Classic Odds and Picks: Kansas-Michigan State, Kentucky-Duke Open Season In College Hoops Mecca

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The college basketball season begins Tuesday with Alcorn State at Washington State on Friel Court in Pullman, Wash., and something called Manhattanville against Manhattan in Draddy Gym in Riverdale, N.Y.

Hey, Jaspers, was Pottersville booked?

It most definitely is a wonderful life, however, with college hoops back in the fold — and in a big way, with nearly 200 games on the opening day docket.

The biggest introductory splash takes place on the game’s marquee stage, at Madison Square Garden in New York, as four of the game’s elite programs square off in the Champions Classic. Both are on ESPN.

Harvard vs Cornell Odds NCAAB Odds

NCAAB · Fri (2/16) @ 6:00pm ET

HARV Harvard at CORN Cornell
Newman Arena, Ithaca, New York

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Harvard vs Cornell Odds NCAAB Odds

NCAAB · Fri (2/16) @ 6:00pm ET

HARV Harvard at CORN Cornell
Newman Arena, Ithaca, New York

No. 3 Kansas vs. Michigan State (7 p.m. ET)

Betting line (DraftKings): Kansas -4 (-115), 141.5

Jayhawks coach Bill Self, defiant throughout an NCAA investigation that drags into a third season, has assembled a roster many believe can contend for the National Championship in New Orleans.

Guard Ochai Agbaji and forward Jalen Wilson opted to remain in Lawrence rather than test their true NBA value, important because both averaged double digits in points last season. So did power forward David McCormack.

Self netted a raft of transfers, courtesy of today’s EZ-Pass Portal. The highlight might have been Remy Martin, the 6-foot guard from Arizona State, whose assists-to-turnovers rate sank as he turned into a gunner his final two seasons in Tempe.

KU will be the benefactor if Self can polish Martin’s point-guard mentality.

In East Lansing, the Rocket Watts experiment is over. Coach Tom Izzo, beginning his 27th season, admittedly failed in his attempt to turn the shooter into a playmaker, and Watts zipped to Mississippi State.

Pierre Brooks II, a 6-foot-6 rookie guard, is someone to watch for the Spartans, who have many new faces. The Spartans are unranked for a reason, and their lack of scoring keeps this one ‘under’.

More Miech: Kansas, UCLA, Villanova solid futures bets

Kansas vs. Michigan State Pick

Under 141.5

No. 10 Kentucky vs. No. 9 Duke (9:30 p.m. ET)

Betting line (Caesars): Duke -3, 149

Mike Krzyzewski will call it a day after this, his 42nd season coaching the Blue Devils. He figures to receive a few rocking chairs in his departure tour, just don’t expect him to go quietly into retirement.

His program is full of young returnees, rookies, and transfers, a hodgepodge of bodies that’s challenging to prognosticate.

Jeremy Roach is the sophomore point guard who will run the show, with junior small forward Wendell Moore Jr., a familiar face. How they gel with newcomers Theo John (Marquette) and Paolo Banchero (a freshman power forward from Seattle) will determine Duke’s season.

The model of that turnover dilemma will be Coach K’s foe tonight, as John Calipari developed the one-and-done mold.

UK returns double-digit scorers in senior guard Davion Mintz and sophomore forward Keion Brooks Jr. Plus, sophomore guard Sahvir Wheeler averaged 11.3 points and 5.8 assists in two seasons at Georgia.

But the guy who makes the difference in this game is 6-foot-3 guard CJ Fredrick, who canned 46.6% of his 3-point attempts in two seasons at Iowa.

Kentucky vs. Duke Pick

Kentucky +3

Also read: Final Four long-shot bets | Conference championship picks

About the Author
Rob Miech

Rob Miech

Writer
Rob Miech is a sports betting writer at Gaming Today who covers soccer and specializes in features content. He has written about college hoops for the Las Vegas Sun, CBS SportsLine and the Pasadena Star-News. Miech is the author of four books, including Sports Betting for Winners.

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