Bet Michigan State -14 vs. Delaware in NCAA Tournament Opener

David Lawrence

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 3:24 PM GMT

Michigan State has become everyone's trendy pick for the Final Four and a lot of experts have tabbed the Spartans as the likely national champion. Is this team really ready to make the Final Four?

The Blue Hens can win because:

Its opponent might have done nothing more than get hot over the course of one weekend. The Spartans have dealt with injuries throughout the second half of their season with various players sitting out for periods of time. They’ve been using a lot of patchwork lineups and that has taken away from a team that began the season 18-1. Michigan State was headed for a No. 1 seed but the Spartans weren't able to achieve to that level until they came alive in the Big Ten Tournament. It's possible that this team will round into form and become what all its fans hope it is capable of achieving, but Michigan State played well in one place for one weekend. Does that really justify all the hype and expectations this team is now receiving?

The Spartans can win because:

They are indeed clicking at the right time. Michigan State needed to play at least two games in the Big Ten Tournament, so that the regular five starters and the members of the bench could all work together and get used to playing with each other in the ways coach Tom Izzo wanted. Michigan State got more than it could have hoped for. The Spartans were able to play three games, not just two, and they looked really good against high-quality teams from Wisconsin and then Michigan. The Spartans didn't just beat the Badgers and Wolverines. They won with a working margin in each case, doing everything that a Tom Izzo team is supposed to do. Michigan State rebounded with great consistency, getting good efforts from its backup big men. The Spartans were very effective in transition, collecting a lot of easy baskets and pushing the pace when it suited them. Michigan State also watched big man Adreian Payne play with a lot of precision and focus. He was devastatingly effective in the paint, playing the way in which he needs to play for this team to be successful. If the Spartans can continue to play the way they played in the Big Ten Tournament, they should be on schedule in this game and in the rest of the NCAA tournament. Take them with your NCAA basketball picks.

Outlook & Pick 

Michigan State is feeling good about itself and even though Delaware is the Colonial's best team, the Blue Hens trailed the championship game in their conference tournament by six points with 1:15 left. Delaware is not as strong as you might think, so look for Michigan State roll and cover the NCAA basketball odds.

Pick: Michigan State -14

[gameodds]14/262055/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]