2022 Champions Classic NCAAB Best Bets: Defending Champ Kansas Headlines Field

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Dajuan Harris Jr. #3 of the Kansas Jayhawks lays the ball up against Luke Yoder #5 of the North Dakota State Bison. Ed Zurga/Getty Images/AFP.

The 12th installment of the Champions Classic is part of Tuesday’s college basketball betting card and features the defending National Champion Kansas Jayhawks along with Duke, Kentucky, and Michigan State.

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Kentucky Wildcats vs. Michigan State Spartans

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 – 07:00 PM EST at Gainbridge Fieldhouse

For just the 3rd time in the history of the Champions Classic, 1 of the 4 teams is unranked in the AP, and just like the previous 2 times, that unranked team is Michigan State as the Spartans aim for an upset of Kentucky in the first matchup of Tuesday’s twin bill.

Kentucky is chalked by 6.5 for the collision. Bettors looking to play the scoreboard are faced with a decision on a 141.5-point total.

Spartans Nearly Upset ‘Zags

Michigan State was just outside the two preseason conventional polls, since creeping into the coaches poll at No. 25. However, the Spartans certainly did not play like an unranked team last Friday when they led Gonzaga at the half before falling 64-63 as 12-point underdogs out in San Diego.

Kentucky dominated its 2 opponents last week, Howard and Duquesne, and covered big spreads with a great all-around play that included big advantages on the boards, while the Wildcats shot 50.4% overall and a solid 48.8% from beyond the 3-point line.

UK Has Won 2 of 3 Champions Clashes

The Spartans and Wildcats have met 3 times in the Champions Classic, with 2 of those contests going off as No. 1 vs. No. 2 battles and Kentucky having won 2 of the 3, most recently at Madison Square Garden in 2019.

That 2019 collision was the season opener for both sides, and the No. 2 Wildcats knocked off No. 1 Michigan State, 69-62, as 3-point underdogs at the best sportsbooks.

The last 3 meetings took place at the Champions Classic, and the Spartans lead the all-time series 7-6.

Coach Cal's 'Cats Cover

Tom Izzo will need his team to play the same physical defense the Spartans played against Gonzaga and John Calipari wants his crew running and shooting 3’s in transition.

Calipari’s crew gets the job done.

NCAAB Pick: Kentucky -6.5 (+100) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Kentucky -6.5 (+100)
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Duke Blue Devils vs. Kansas Jayhawks

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 - 09:30 PM EST at Gainbridge Fieldhouse

Up to now, the same 4 coaches have been at the helm of the same 4 schools to take part in the Champions Classic, but that changes in the nightcap on Tuesday when Jon Scheyer takes the Duke Blue Devils onto the court against the Kansas Jayhawks.

That theme of the rookie Scheyer getting his first taste of a rivalry as a head coach or facing off against another coaching legend will continue throughout the season, but one thing that won’t continue is Duke being an underdog. BetOnline has Kansas -2 with 144.5 for the total.

Duke Covers Both of Last Week’s Tune-Ups

After a couple of glorified scrimmages against Jacksonville and South Carolina Upstate a week ago, we’ll get to truly see what kind of team Scheyer has as he is tasked with somehow trying to follow in the footsteps of the legendary Michael Krzyzewski at Duke.

Bill Self and Kansas also tuned up for this event with a couple of easy matchups. Unlike the Blue Devils, who covered the college basketball odds in their 2 contests, the Jayhawks couldn’t quite cash tickets for their backers in games against Omaha and North Dakota State.

Lively In, Whitehead Out for Duke

Duke began the season with a couple of high-profile freshmen on the bench nursing injuries, but with Dereck Lively II (calf) getting in 14 minutes of action in Game 2 against USC Upstate, while Dariq Whitehead (foot) is expected to remain sidelined for Tuesday’s tilt.

Kansas will be without guard Kyle Cuffe Jr. after the redshirt freshman injured a knee in practice over the weekend. Cuffe is expected to be out of action through January.

Duke 2-1 SU, KU 2-1 ATS in Champions Matchups

This is the 4th time the Blue Devils and Jayhawks have met in the Champions.

Duke has won 2 of the previous 3 while Kansas has covered 2 of the 3. Totals have run 1-2 O/U.

Their last meeting at Madison Square Garden in 2019 ended in a 68-66 win for Duke in a game that was closely contested the entire way, and 5 of the last 7 between the Blue Devils and Jayhawks have ended with 7 points or fewer between the clubs.

No Scoreboard Buster This Time

Kansas and Duke have thrilled fans with offensive showcases in previous meetings, like the Jayhawks’ 85-81 win in the Midwest Regional Finals of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

Not sure they’ll score that many on Tuesday, but I’ll be adding an ‘Over’ to my college basketball picks.

NCAAB Pick: Over 144.5 (-110) at BetOnline

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Over 144.5 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.