You have to give Tom Izzo credit, he’s not shying away from competition early on this young season – a trend that continues when the Spartans (5-2) head to South Bend for the Michigan State at Notre Dame betting matchup.
MSU has played the third hardest schedule in the country so far behind only Gonzaga and Purdue, which makes their record even that more impressive. Notre Dame has taken a much different approach to the start of the season, and just lost their first test of the season falling 63-51 to St. Bonaventure at the Gotham Classic as a -6 point favorite. Michigan State is just a -1.5 favorite here which looks like a steal.
A Breather for Michigan State?
It could be argued that the Michigan State at Notre Dame betting matchup in the Spartans’ first true road game of the season is their easiest matchup on paper since the 73-55 win over Northern Arizona in the opener.
MSU does have a 73-71 win over Villanova on the year – and it’s been a very down year for the Wildcats. The Spartans were also a -6.5 favorite over Portland in their last contest, but that was their third game in four nights at the Phil Knight Invitational – in Portland.
Other than the Northern Arizona, Villanova, and Portland game the MSU gauntlet has looked like then #2 Gonzaga on an Aircraft Carrier (64-63 L), then #4 Kentucky in Indianapolis (86-77 W), then #18 Alabama (81-70) and against Oregon in Portland (74-70). This is all while trying to replace your top three scorers from last year so Izzo truly is a master.
Notre Dame Playing With Fire
The Fighting Irish have started the year 5-1, but that’s one of the shakiest 5-1 records in the country (1-5 ATS). While Michigan State was hanging with the likes of Gonzaga and Kentucky, ND struggled in a 79-76 win over Radford as -18 point favorites, couldn’t cover the number in an 88-81 win over Youngstown State, and almost lost outright to Lipscomb (66-65) as a -12.5 favorite.
Nearly a month into the season Notre Dame’s “signature” win is an 82-66 win over Bowling Green who is 2-5 on the year. It’s hard to see how any game so far has prepared this team for the Michigan State at Notre Dame betting matchup.
Notre Dame ranks 170th in adjusted defensive efficiency, and somehow their offense is a strength ranking 29th in offensive efficiency. This is an offense that just shot 34% from the field and was held to 51 points in the loss to St. Bonaventure.
Free Michigan State at Notre Dame Betting Pick
Unless this MSU -1.5 line is a blatant trap, it’s hard to fathom taking Notre Dame here or why this number is so low. Sure the Spartans who missed the trip to Portland with a foot injury, but they’re showing some solid top end production from Tyson Walker (15.6) and Joey Hauser (13.9).
Notre Dame has five players averaging double figures and are 5-0 at home this season – but look who they’ve played. Unless Notre Dame does a complete 180 and plays by far their best game of the season – which is obviously possible – this one looks to go Michigan State’s direction in a big way.
Free Pick: Michigan State -1.5