Perennial programs of the Big Dance duke it out in the Round of 32 when the No. 7 Michigan State Spartans take on the No. 2 Duke Blue Devils in the West Region of March Madness on Sunday.
Duke cruised by Cal State Fullerton in the opening round but left much to be desired from Blue Devils backers (nasty backdoor cover) while Michigan State won a war with Davidson to advance to the weekend. March Madness odds are pegging Coach K’s kids as 6.5-point favorites to advance to the Sweet 16.
Check out our free March Madness picks and predictions for Michigan State vs. Duke on March 20.
Michigan State vs Duke odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
Duke opened between -6 and -6.5, went as high as -7 but the market consensus has settled at Blue Devils -6.5. The total hit the board at 144 and is up to 144.5 points.
Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.
Michigan State vs Duke predictions
Predictions made on 3/19/2022 at 8:50 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Michigan State vs Duke game info
• Location: Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, SC
• Date: Sunday, March 20, 2022
• Tip-off: 5:15 p.m. ET
• TV: CBS
Michigan State vs Duke betting preview
Michigan State: Tyson Walker G (Probable).
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Betting trend to know
Duke and Michigan State have gone 9-6 Over/Under in head-to-head meetings since 1998. Find more NCAA betting trends for Michigan State vs. Duke.
Michigan State vs Duke picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
A great coaching duel will steal all the headlines for this game, with broadcasters drooling over the final chess match between Tom Izzo versus Mike Krzyzewski. However, for basketball bettors, this is a puzzling pick to make.
On one hand, you have the powerful Blue Devils, who lack a killer instinct and haven’t covered a spread in five straight games, going 4-9 ATS over their last 13 contests. And on the other, a scrappy Spartans team on a five-game spread-busting run, but a squad that looks absolutely dead in the water for extended stretches and is outmatched — at least on paper — in this Sunday showdown.
Truth be told, MSU was a little lucky to get past Davidson in the Round of 64. The Spartans were hot from distance early on and also benefitted from the Wildcats sitting star scorer Luka Brajkovic for most of the first half due to foul trouble. Once Brajkovic returned, however, Michigan State had no answer for him inside in the second half.
The Blue Devils interior is a much taller task for Michigan State’s bigs. Duke has twin towers in Paolo Banchero and Mark Williams, who combined for 32 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists in the win over CSU Fullerton. Those two monsters anchor a Blue Devils offense that’s shooting 55.9% from inside the arc – 11th-highest in the country.
The Spartans have a 7-footer in Marcus Bingham Jr., but he’s not on the same level as Duke’s bigs and finds himself in foul trouble against elite frontcourts. Behind him, things get smaller with forwards Julius Marble II and Joey Hauser topping out at 6-foot-9. Those guys fight like hell, but over 40 minutes, those matchups will give way to talent and size.
I hate betting on Duke (always let me down) and hate betting against Michigan State (always bite me in the ass), but the Spartans will succumb to the Blue Devils’ surplus of scorers and Coach K will get the last laugh in this college coaching rivalry.
Prediction: Duke -6.5 (-110)
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Michigan State’s overall offensive body of work isn’t great, but like most years, when March rolls around, Izzo has his team peaking at the right time. The Spartans are averaging 73.2 points per game over those five straight ATS paydays — a notable jump in production after MSU slogged its way through the second half of Big Ten play.
Perhaps the most impressive part of that run is just how bad Michigan State has been in first halves before pulling an Undertaker in the final 20 minutes. The Spartans have put up 1H point totals of 32, 20 and 24 in their last three games (all going Under 1H TT) then following that with a second-half onslaught of 42, 50, and 45 points – blowing up Under bets in the process.
Michigan State isn’t an up-tempo attack but doesn’t waste time getting into its halfcourt offense and will always test its opponent in transition before pulling it back out and running through the playbook. The Green and White, who finished with only one player averaging double figures on the season (Gabe Brown), have gotten a boost in production from guys like Bingham Jr., Houser and A.J. Hoggard over the four postseason outings.
As for the Blue Devils, they’ve got scoring punch up and down this lineup, with five guys scoring in double figures. Duke’s bread and butter comes inside but it can also make teams pay for collapsing in the key with a nice touch from outside, shooting 36.9% from distance and averaging more than eight triples per game.
Over bettors might feel a little queasy in the first half of this Round of 32 game, but things will pick up after the halftime break.
Prediction: Over 144.5 (-110)
The complexities of this Izzo-versus-Krzyzewski battle on top of the contrasting recent ATS success of these schools is enough to make you crazy – and not the Cameron kind.
Stripping back all that noise, Duke is the far better team and will win this game. The Blue Devils’ outright odds can be had in the -250 range, which isn’t bad.
We can find a much better price on the old “double result” markets: betting on the team that will be ahead on the scoreboard at the half and at the final horn. Duke on the 1H/2H line is down to -121 at PointsBet books
Recent trends are a bit troubling, as the Blue Devils failed to lead at the half in all three ACC tournament games before going up by 10 against CSU Fullerton on Friday. That said, Duke scores 39.6 1H points per game — fifth-most in the country — and MSU has been absolute trash in the first 20 minutes.
Pick: Duke double result -121
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