Is there a value for the whole?

After a one-point loss to the 2nd-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs, Michigan State now needs to turn its attention to the 4th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats Tuesday night.

It was a brutal defeat for the Spartans as they held a 12-point lead early in the second half.

You won’t find a better place for a college basketball game than one played aboard an aircraft carrier on Veterans Day. The unusual circumstances created some value for the Under due to the unique sightlines for the players.

Today’s competition takes place in more normal conditions at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. However, I’ll explain why the venue change won’t necessarily result in more points in this matchup.

Spread: KEN -6.5 (-110) vs. MSU +6.5 (-110)

money line: KEN (+450) vs. MSU (-650)

In total: About 141.5 (-110) | Below 141.5 (-110)

Below 141.5 points

With only two games under their belt, these teams may not have a clear choice of team in this matchup. However, I think we can glean more from the past performance of the teams to make a more informed decision on the totals.

Michigan State plays slower than Kentucky, averaging 72.4 possessions per game compared to the Wildcats, who average 75.6 possessions.

And while I readily concede that two games would hardly be enough to qualify as solid data points, the Spartans averaged 69.6 possessions per game last season.

Another reason pointing to a slower game is that after the season starts against Howard and Duquesne, the Wildcats will face a stronger opponent in the Spartans.

Plus, scoring against the Wildcats won’t be easy with Ugonna Onyenso, Kentucky’s six-foot-11 rim guard.

Reigning AP Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe could make his season debut for the Wildcats after undergoing minor left knee surgery in October.

Even though Kentucky is averaging 86 points over two games, I still think that total is a bit excessive given the quality of the opponents they face.

The Wildcats also average 11 3-pointers after just 6.1 last season.

I don’t see Kentucky maintaining that pace from the perimeter against a Michigan State team whose opponents shoot 25% from beyond the arc.

This total opened at 139.5 but was bet up to 141.5. I ran my numbers and my model projects a total of 135.40 points.

Historically, our Action Labs database shows that in Kentucky games with an opening total of at least 139.5 points, the Under is 155-124-6 for a 20.34 unit win.



I’m going to trust my predictions at this point and play this game under 141.5 or better.

Source