Tuesday night’s college basketball slate features two marquee matchups between four of the nation’s top seven teams to get the 2017-18 season fully in gear.
And before you make your picks, you need to see what SportsLine college basketball expert Matt Norlander has to say.
Norlander is a national award-winning writer for CBS Sports who has covered college basketball since 2007. From award-winning features to weekly game analysis, Norlander covers the sport from every angle. Every October, he gives out the Internet’s most thorough ranking of all 351 college basketball teams.
The award-winning college hoops writer has released his first four point-spread picks for SportsLine, including Duke-Michigan State and Kentucky-Kansas.
The Blue Devils landed the top 2017 recruiting class in the nation according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. However, Michigan State has the edge when it comes to experience.
The Spartans return many key contributors from a team that was stout defensively last season and give up an average of just 68.7 points. Top scorers Miles Bridges and Nick Ward return as well, giving MSU continuity that could pay off, especially early in the season.
A shocker: Norlander is picking a winless Rice team, which finished last season eight games below .500, to cover +8.5 at home against Georgia State. Norlander knows Rice is in a rebuilding season, but he believes 8.5 points in the first week of the season is too much to pass on. Rice is 14-6 straight up in its past 20 games at home, while Georgia State is 1-5 against the spread in its past six away games.