Michigan State Spartans vs. Virginia Cavaliers – College Basketball, December 9, 2020

By Dean McHugh in College Basketball
| December 7, 2020 9:29 am PDT

The Cavaliers host the Spartans at the John Paul Jones Arena in a matchup, which will see two of the more fancied teams to go all the way go head to head.

Michigan State has a perfect record from their opening five matches of the season. Virginia has one blemish against them from their first four games, which was a surprising defeat to big underdogs San Francisco.

The two teams have met twice before back in 2014 and 2015. Both games were fairly close matchups; however, Michigan State came out on top on both occasions.

Can they make it a third time?

Michigan State vs. Virginia Odds

Spartans +3.5-112
Cavaliers -3.5-109
Spartans To Win+143
Cavaliers To Win-177

The odds for this one are close but slightly surprising, given that it’s the Spartans that have started the season better.

They appear to reflect the postseason predictions rather than the current form of both teams.

Michigan State Spartans Analysis

The Spartans could not have started the season any better than they have after five comfortable wins in a row.

The closest any team has got to them is six points as they took the win home with them when visiting a very tough Duke team a couple of weeks back.

Michigan State has already beaten two teams from the Atlantic Coast in Duke and Notre Dame, and they will be looking to make it three in a row against Virginia.

The Spartans have seen a lot of the ball in their matches, which is largely due to their great rebounding skills as they currently average over 41 rebounds per game. But having seen so much of the ball, they will be hoping to improve on the field goal percentage of forty-seven percent.

They have been able to rely on the superb rebounding skills of Joey Hauser, who has doubled his average rebounds per game from his last season from five to ten. He is also chipping in with an average of fourteen points per game.

Virginia Cavaliers Analysis

The Cavaliers have been the Jekyll and Hyde team of the season so far; you just don’t know which team is going to turn up.

They thumped St. Francis and Towson but went down surprisingly to San Francisco and struggled last week in an overtime win against Kent State. They haven’t really faced a top team yet, so their form is certainly worrying.

The biggest worry for them is the way that they are finishing their games off, as they have lost three of the four-second halves that they have played this season.

It’s not all bad for Virginia, though, as their defense has been rock solid so far, and they have only averaged 57 points against so far this season. But then, when you look at the opposition that they have faced, it’s easy to see why that could be the case.

They will be hoping that their experienced senior Jay Huff can inspire the best side of the Cavaliers to turn up. He has had a good start to the season, posting his highest points average per game (12) of any year, as well as his highest field goal percentage (69).

Spartans vs. Cavaliers Betting Pick

Pick
  • Spartans To Win
    +143

The Spartans are undefeated, have faced better opposition, and never lost to the Cavaliers, so how are they the outsiders for this match?

Yes, they are away from home, but that didn’t faze them against Duke, which can sometimes be an intimidating place to go.

Take the generous odds on the Spartans to win.

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