The first full week of the 2020-2021 college basketball season is in the books, and while there is still much to learn, and the college basketball odds for December 1 are mighty interesting thanks to the Champions Classic, and a couple of competitive Maui Invitational games played on the mainland.
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Rob Dauster, a longtime national college basketball writer, and co-founder of the Field of 68 Podcast Network, breaks down the lines for the Champions Classic featuring Michigan State vs. Duke and Kansas vs. Kentucky and gets you ready to tackle the college basketball odds head-on.
RELATED: College Basketball Futures
COLLEGE BASKETBALL ODDS: DECEMBER 1 LINES
#8 MICHIGAN STATE (2-0) at #6 DUKE (1-0), 7:30 p.m.
MONEYLINE: Duke -182, Michigan State +150
SPREAD: Duke -4
Click here for the full list of Duke-Michigan State odds.
Duke is the most overrated team in America right now.
I’m not just saying that to say that. According to KenPom, Duke is ranked third in America. But the problem with using KenPom’s metrics this early in the season is that they incorporate way too much preseason projection data. Torvik, another analytics site that isn’t as heavy on preseason projections this early in the season, had Duke ranked 17th. KenPom has Duke favored by (-5) tomorrow. Duke has that line below (-2), and after watching the Blue Devils struggle to put away Coppin State on Saturday, I tend to think even Torvik is too high on Duke in this spot.
Remember, the Cameron Crazies are not going to be in the house on Tuesday night. Cameron Indoor Stadium is just another gym, which means we’re not betting on home-court advantage or the benefit the home team might get from a friendly whistle. You’re betting on Duke.
And this team just is not there for me. They don’t have an interior presence. They don’t have a rim protector. They have too many guys that aren’t two-way players; put another way, Jalen Johnson may be the only guy that stays on the floor when Duke switches from their best offensive lineup to their best defensive lineup. I’m not a believer in Matthew Hurt’s defense or Jordan Goldwire’s offense.
They could get there because Jalen Johnson is the closest thing to Ben Simmons that we’ve seen since Ben Simmons was at LSU, but ideally you’d want him surrounded by a roster that can space the floor, run in transition and provide him some help inside. Duke doesn’t have that.
So while I do have questions about Michigan State, remember that they were up by 28 on Notre Dame in the second half on Saturday. They’re going to be fine even without Cassius Winston or Xavier Tillman.
I will be on the Michigan State moneyline.
#7 KANSAS (1-1) vs. #20 KENTUCKY (1-1), 9:30 p.m.
MONEYLINE: Kansas -220, Kentucky +180
SPREAD: Kansas -5
Click here for the full list of Kansas-Kentucky odds.
This game is another one that is pretty easy to pick. Kentucky has a chance to be really, really good this season. The length and athleticism on the roster is elite, full stop.
But with Keion Brooks injured, they do not have a single player in this year’s rotation that was in last year’s rotation. Considering how many freshmen there are in the mix, the concerns that we have at the point, and the fact that the Wildcats did not get a normal offseason to gel, they are just a long way away from hitting their ceiling.
That’s why they got worked over by an older, experienced, and disciplined Richmond team.
Now, I know that Kansas lost to Gonzaga this weekend. But Gonzaga is one of the best teams that we’ve seen in college basketball in the last decade. They are that good. There is no shame in losing to them, and Kansas hung with them for a while. And going up against Kentucky, Bill Self doesn’t have to worry about the issues that come with playing David McCormack; Kentucky will have just as much size upfront.
Kentucky will figure it out eventually. But for now, we are in full fade mode.
OMAHA (1-2) at #9 CREIGHTON (1-0), 5 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Creighton -5000, Omah +1300
SPREAD: Creighton -19.5
OVER/UNDER: 146.5 points
Click here for the full list of Creighton-Omaha odds.
Creighton just recently got out of quarantine, and the biggest difficulty when it comes to coming out of quarantine for these teams is legs. You can’t play for 40 minutes at the level you are used to playing when you’ve been stuck in your apartment for 14 straight days.
Last week, we saw this with North Dakota State, who was playing their third game in five days in the state of Nebraska when they visited Creighton as 19.5-point underdogs and covering, losing 69-58. NDSU is projected to be, along with Omaha, one of three or four teams that could push South Dakota State for the Summit League title. Omaha is getting 19.5 points.
I’ll be on the Mavericks.
UNC GREENSBORO (1-0) vs. PRAIRIE VIEW A&M (1-2), 3 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: UNCG -2000, Prairie View A&M 950
SPREAD: UNC Greensboro -15
OVER/UNDER: 138 points
Click here for the full list of UNC Greensboro-Prairie View A&M odds.
This one is pretty simple to me: UNCG is one of the best mid-majors in the country. Prairie View A&M is a team is that consistently ranked outside the top 300 on KenPom. Ride with Wes Miller, because rooting for Isaiah Miller is a fun thing to do.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL ODDS: DECEMBER 1 LINES
1:30 p.m.: #17 Texas (2-0) vs. Indiana (2-0) .
2:30 p.m.: Southern Cal (2-0) vs. BYU (3-0). BYU -3.5. O/U 147.5
3:00 p.m.: Oakland (0-4) at Purdue (1-1). PU -22. O/U 140.5
4:00 p.m.: #14 North Carolina (2-0) vs. Stanford (1-0).
4:00 p.m.: St. Francis (1-1) at #15 Virginia (1-1). UVA -21.5. O/U 129.5
5:00 p.m.: Green Bay (0-1) at #4 Wisconsin (2-0). Wisconsin -24.5. O/U 148.5
5 p.m.: Omaha (1-2) at #9 Creighton (1-0). Creighton -19. O/U 146
5 p.m.: #12 Villanova (2-1) vs. Hartford (0-1). VU -26.5. O/U 138.5
6 p.m.: Western Kentucky (2-1) at Louisville (2-1). UofL -4.5. O/U 143
6 p.m.: Navy (2-1) at Georgetown (1-0). GU -10. O/U 140.5
7 p.m.: Oklahoma State (2-0) at Marquette (2-0). MU -4. O/U 146.5
7 p.m.: Providence (1-1) vs. Davidson (1-1).
7:30 p.m.: #8 Michigan State (2-0) at #6 Duke (1-0). Duke -4. O/U 152
9:30 p.m.: #7 Kansas (1-1) vs. #20 Kentucky (1-1). Kansas -4.5. O/U 146.5
9:30 p.m.: UNLV (0-2) vs. Alabama (1-1).