NCAA Basketball Picks for Tuesday's Biggest Games

Steven Suarez

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 4:43 PM GMT

Which two college basketball picks should you add to your tickets for a busy Tuesday night? We've got a couple plays that appear to hold good value.

You couldn't ask for a more entertaining slate of nationally televised games than what we've got in store for Tuesday. Some of the country's best teams will be in action, and below you can find two college basketball picks that we will be taking to the books.

 

Duke Blue Devils vs. Michigan State Spartans
The Blue Devils have been completely dominant to open up the season, but they face their first real test tonight against the Spartans. The college basketball betting odds show Duke favored by either 7 or 7.5 points, with the total at 144.5 points right now. 

Surprised to see the Blue Devils favored by such a hefty margin over a storied program like Michigan State? Well, that just goes to show you how good Duke has looked early on in the season. Coach K's group beat Presbyterian 113-44 to open things up and then crushed Fairfield 109-59 a day later. In both games, Duke easily covered what were incredibly large spreads.

Freshman Jahlil Okafor is averaging 18.0 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 3.0 APG so far, while Justise Winslow, Quinn Cook, Grayson Allen and Tyus Jones are all averaging in double figures too. Then there's the likes of Amile Jefferson, Matt Jones, Marshall Plumlee and Rasheed Sulaimon, all of whom have been a big part of the rotation in the early stages.

As for Michigan State, they've played just once, topping Navy 64-59 in the Veterans Classic. It was a sloppy game from the Spartans, but Travis Trice's 25 points, five boards and five assists were the catalyst in the win. Branden Dawson was also effective, scoring 12 points to go with eight rebounds, two assists, three steals and a block.

Michigan State has lost a lot of talent from last season, namely Gary Harris, Adreian Payne and Keith Appling. We still expect the Spartans to find their way and be a legitimate force, but it may take a little time for them to gel together under Tom Izzo. Izzo always has his teams ready come tournament time, but there will be some growing pains early on.

As a result, we feel we have no choice but to back Duke, a team that goes at least 10 deep and seems to be clicking on all cylinders to start off 2014-15. With veterans and an excellent freshman group that's contributed immediately, the Blue Devils should be able to grab the cover.

College Football Pick: Duke Blue Devils -7 at BookMaker

 

Kansas Jayhawks vs. Kentucky Wildcats
How about this game for a nightcap? We're treated to Duke/Michigan State early on, and then we get Kentucky/Kansas immediately thereafter. Man, it's a good time to be a college basketball fan.

The Wildcats and Jayhawks enter the new season as legitimate contenders for a national championship once again. No surprise there. Kentucky is the consensus number one overall right now, and an early win over a strong Kansas team would do a lot to bolster that ranking.

In terms of early results, the Wildcats beat Grand Canyon by 40 and then topped Buffalo 71-52. The Harrison twins continue to play well, but Kentucky has so many good talents that it's hard to keep track. Dakari Johnson has averaged 9.5 PPG, 12.5 RPG and 2.5 BPG through two games, while fellow big man Willie Cauley-Stein has been good for averages of 9.0 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 2.5 BPG. Alex Poythress and freshman Trey Lyles are also key parts of the rotation.

Kansas has played just once, beating UC Santa Barbara 69-59. Perry Ellis double-doubled, with Frank Mason III, Wayne Selden and Devonte Graham all scoring at least 10 points apiece as well.

The Jayhawks may not have Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid around anymore, but they've dealt with early departures numerous times before and always remain a force in the college basketball landscape. That shouldn't change this season. We like their interior presence with the smooth offensive game of Ellis and the power that Jamari Traylor brings, And how can we forget about freshman Cliff Alexander, one of the best freshmen out there?

What we're getting at is Kansas is going to be a rock-solid team again this season, and we wouldn't be surprised to see them give Kentucky a run for their money tonight.

There's going to be a heck of a lot of talent out there tonight, but ultimately we think the value lies with the Jayhawks. They should have the experience necessary to take this game down to the wire - with that said, we're picking them to cover as dogs.

College Football Pick: Kansas Jayhawks +6.5