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Prop bets for Duke men's basketball's Round of 32 matchup against Michigan State

Mark Williams had six blocks against first-seeded Gonzaga back in November, and he averages 2.8 blocks per game on the season.
Mark Williams had six blocks against first-seeded Gonzaga back in November, and he averages 2.8 blocks per game on the season.

The Blue Devils take on Michigan State in the second round of the NCAA tournament Sunday in Greenville, S.C., and the Blue Zone has you covered with some can't-miss prop bets for the game:

Duke (-6.5) vs. Michigan State

Duke has all the tools to take down Michigan State when it meets the Spartans for a 5:15 p.m. tipoff Sunday night. While that doesn’t necessarily guarantee a victory, the Blue Devils didn’t let up against Cal State Fullerton in the first round, showing that they’re ready for more tough tournament competition. And expect Michigan State to deliver on that last note, as the group was competitive against some of the nation’s top teams—including No. 3-seed Wisconsin and Michigan, who advanced to the Sweet Sixteen on Saturday—and has a deep bench.

Both Duke and the Spartans are competing for a chance at the Sweet Sixteen, so look out for the Blue Devils to bring the same energy from their first two games of the ACC tournament, where they looked determined and focused. Meanwhile, the Spartans only narrowly slithered their way out of a Davidson upset, gaining a single point on it to close out the day. The question now is whether Michigan State can strike gold twice as it takes on Duke just two days later. If the Blue Devils show out like they did in the first round, they can come out with a win. However, a win of more than 6.5 points is not as likely, as both teams will bring their best with a ticket to the Sweet Sixteen on the line.

Pick: Michigan State +6.5

Over/under 146.5

Just because it’s tournament play doesn’t mean both teams will be draining bucket after bucket. That showed Friday in both Duke and Michigan State’s first-round performances against Cal State Fullerton and Davidson, which ended with 139 and 147, respectively. Though the Spartans had the closer game and the greater combined point total, Duke had the higher individual point total with 78 to the Spartans’ 74, and both games cut it close to 146.5 total points. 

Duke’s game against Cal State Fullerton may not have seen the over hit, but all three of its ACC tournament games did. As for Michigan State, just one of its contests in the Big Ten tournament finished with 146.5 or more combined points. Still, though it's unlikely this contest is a very high-scoring affair, an over of 146.5 is a reasonable choice considering these two teams’ performances late in the season.

Pick: Over 146.5

Mark Williams over/under three blocks

Williams may have tallied five rejections when the Blue Devils took down the Titans Friday, but the group is entering new territory Sunday night, and with that comes a lot of new challenges. The sophomore center has the size and skill to get some blocks on the stat sheet even against premier competition—he had six against No.1-overall-seed Gonzaga in November—so it’s almost impossible that Williams finishes with zero. Still, with the Spartans roster featuring another 7-foot player in Marcus Bingham Jr., the Virginia Beach, Va., native will face some adversity securing more than his average of 2.8 per game.

Pick: Under three


Ana Young | Assistant Blue Zone Editor

Ana Young is a Trinity sophomore and an assistant Blue Zone editor of The Chronicle’s 118th volume.

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