The college basketball season kicks off Tuesday night as No. 1 Kansas faces No. 10 Michigan State at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis in the 2018 Champions Classic. It's a battle between a veteran Michigan State team and a group of talented newcomers for Kansas. With star freshman Quentin Grimes and transfer Dedric Lawson making highly anticipated debuts for the Jayhawks, they're 4.5-point favorites in the latest Kansas vs. Michigan State odds, down from an open of five. The over-under for total points scored opened at 145, but has skyrocketed all the way to 155.5. Before you rush off to make any Kansas vs. Michigan State picks and predictions, be sure to check out what the advanced computer model at SportsLine projects for Tuesday night's action.
This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has returned more than $5,200 to $100 bettors on its top-rated picks the past two years. Anyone who has followed it is up big-time.
Now the model has dialed in on Michigan State vs. Kansas. We can tell you it's leaning under, but it has also generated a strong point-spread pick that's cashing in nearly 70 percent of simulations. It's only available over at SportsLine.
The model has taken into account that Kansas lost leading scorer and assist man Devonte' Graham from the team that went 31-8 and made the Final Four last season. But with a pair of five-star recruits, the Lawson brothers and holdovers like 7-foot junior Udoka Azubuike (13 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.7 blocks last season), expectations are sky-high in Lawrence once again.
Kansas destroyed the Spartans by 20 in their previous meeting, in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, and the Jayhawks are facing a Michigan State team that has failed to cover its past five neutral-site games.
But just because Kansas is loaded doesn't mean the Jayhawks will cover the spread against Tom Izzo's Spartans.
After a Round of 32 exit in the NCAA Tournament and losing Jaren Jackson Jr. and Miles Bridges to the NBA this offseason, many will be wondering if Tom Izzo's Spartans have enough firepower to factor into the national conversation. However, they still return double-digit scoring from Nick Ward, Cassius Winston and Josh Langford, and will add a top-20 recruiting class to the mix.
The key for Michigan State against Kansas will be Winston running the point. Winston was one of the most underrated floor generals in college basketball last season, averaging 12.6 points and 6.9 assists while hitting nearly 51 percent from the floor and nearly 50 percent from beyond the arc.
Winston gives Michigan State a clear advantage at point guard over Kansas transfer Charlie Moore. His ability to hit shots and set his teammates up with quality looks against a Kansas defense that has incredible length and athleticism could be the great equalizer. Winston went off last season in a 28-point performance during a neutral site win over UConn.
Who wins Michigan State vs. Kansas? And which side of the spread can you bank on nearly 70 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to get the strong against-the-spread pick, all from the advanced model that is up more than $5,200 on its college basketball picks the past two years.