The immense expectations attached to Michigan State’s 2019-2020 basketball season have been hampered following recent poor play and disappointing conference losses.
Coupled with an upcoming conference scheduled littered with top 25 opponents, the team and its bettors sit at a crossroads.
How much trust should the Spartans inspire?
It’s hard to say, but the value is there for those willing to lay money on its future.
Michigan State still favorites in Big Ten
Michigan State remains a Big Ten favorite for online sportsbooks.
Big Ten conference championship futures posted Sunday afternoon on DraftKings had Michigan State at +300. Directly behind the Spartans was Maryland at +450.
The two teams have been given equal odds on DraftKings to win the national championship, at +2000. The Spartans’ odds are matched on Indiana’s BetRivers and BetAmerica.
Better value can be found on FanDuel, where Michigan State is listed at +2200 to win it all.
The best value for a bet on the Spartans to reach the Final Four, meanwhile, can be found on DraftKings, at +400.
FanDuel, DraftKings and New Jersey’s 888 sportsbook have the team at +350 to garner a number-one seed in the NCAA tournament. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi had the Spartans at a three-seed before its loss Saturday to rival Michigan.
Spartans fans can bet on Cassius
Star senior guard Cassius Winston currently sits at +500 on DraftKings and 888 to win the John R. Wooden Award. The honor is given to the top player in the nation each year.
Winston averages more than 18 points and nearly 6 assists per game. He is the heartbeat of the Spartans team and is likely to go down as one of coach Tom Izzo’s best point guards.
His skills have landed him as the fourth most-likely player to win the Wooden Award, behind Iowa’s Luka Garza (+150), Oregon’s Payton Pritchard (+200), and Dayton’s Obi Toppin (+350).
Winston could chip away at Garza’s place as the front-runner when the Hawkeyes visit East Lansing on Feb. 25. A monster performance by Winston coupled with a disappointing one from Garza would likely shift who in the Big Ten is most likely to win the coveted award.
Spartans offer good value
KenPom’s 10th-ranked Michigan State has had its ups and downs this season. They range from a blowout defeat in West Lafayette against Purdue and a recent three-game skid to a 20-point victory over Illinois.
But one thing is certain: Izzo will have his team ready to play in March.
Despite a shocking upset against 15-seed Middle Tennessee in 2016, the Spartans have landed in the Final Four twice the previous five seasons.
Izzo’s track record speaks for itself. As does the talent on a team that topped the preseason AP poll.
And for a squad that went to the Final Four in 2019, Michigan State offers good value to make the early-April trip to Atlanta and possibly even win the dance.
In comparison, DraftKings has Gonzaga leading the pack at +800, followed by Kansas (+1000), Baylor (+1100), Duke (+1100), Louisville (+1200) and Oregon (+1200), as more likely options to win the national championship.
Getting the same +2000 odds as the Spartans to win it all include Dayton, Florida State, Kentucky and Maryland.