Best college basketball bets for Friday: Gonzaga-Michigan State Armed Forces Classic, Wisconsin-Stanford Brew City Battle

We’ve already seen a handful of college basketball upheavals in the early days of the non-conference slate (Stetson over Florida State, Sam Houston State over Oklahoma, FGCU over USC), setting up another season full of action on hardwood.

Although there was no first game between two top programs, Friday’s slate sees several top programs go head-to-head.

Below, we’ll break down Gonzaga’s matchup with Michigan State on the USS Abraham Lincoln and the Wisconsin-Stanford fight on the Diamond and provide our best bet for each game.

All ratings courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook

Gonzaga vs Michigan State Odds: Armed Forces Classic Best Bet

  • Spread: Gonzaga -10.5
  • More less : OTB

Gonzaga is currently considered a 10.5-point favorite in this neutral-site battle, which is a fair assessment of how this game could play out. The ‘Zags want this game to be an athletic encounter, controlling the tempo and scoring over 85 points. Additionally, Gonzaga currently sports KenPom’s No. 1 adjusted offensive efficiency metric (117.6 points per 100 possessions), averaging 12.4 seconds per offensive possession (first in D-1).

One of the focal points of Gonzaga’s offensive lineup is Drew Timme, senior center for the ‘Zags, and the numbers have their way against Michigan State’s inexperienced and undersized front line. Timme, alongside fellow forwards Anton Watson and size advantage Efton Reid, will give Michigan State’s home defense a headache for 40 minutes.

The Spartans just held Northern Arizona to 36.7% shooting from two-point territory (11 of 30) in their regular-season opener on Monday, but replicated that outing against a group from Gonzaga who connected on 69.1% of their two-point shots. in their 104-63 win over North Florida is going to be a tough one.

The Spartan’s backcourt of topclass AJ Hoggard and Tyson Walker can hold their own against the Bulldogs’ guards. Still, unless the Spartans shoot a high clip from three-pointers, Gonzaga’s ability to dominate on the inside and win the rebounding battle can earn the Bulldogs a win over 11 points.

Best bet: Gonzaga -10.5 (playable down to -11.5)

Wisconsin vs Stanford odds: Brew City battle best bet

  • Spread: Wisconsin -4.5
  • More less : 136.5

In one of Friday’s other notable neutral-site matchups on the slate, Wisconsin takes on Stanford in the first-ever basketball game played inside American Family Field, home of the Milwaukee Brewers. Since we believe the Wisconsin price is correctly priced as a 4.5 point favorite, we’ll pivot to the total for our best bet.

Although Wisconsin and Stanford scored 85 and 88 points respectively in their season-opening wins, we expect the offense to be a little harder to come by on Friday. The main reason is that we think this game will play at a relatively slow pace.

Wisconsin enters Friday averaging 17.9 seconds per offensive possession (195th in D-1) as they aren’t in a great rush to throw shots early in possessions. Although Stanford played fast in their season opener against Pacific (15.7 seconds per offensive possession), the Cardinal is unlikely to generate high percentage looks early in the shot clock against the solid defense. of Wisconsin.

With Stanford having to work deeper into the shot clock to find a good look, scoring more than 70 points will be difficult. Expect this game to be a low-scoring, defense-focused game.

Best bet: Under 136.5 (playable up to 135)

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