The Daily Sweat: Tuesday is a good night to get into the college basketball season

The college basketball season actually began over a week ago, though we couldn’t really blame you if you’ve missed it. The sport doesn’t do a great job of opening the season with a bang, as there’s a lot of massive spreads and big schools playing unknown institutions in the first few weeks. Sure, sometimes you’ll get a massive upset like last night, where TCU lost as a 28.5-point home favorite against Northwestern State. However, most of the time, it’s a bunch of uninspiring matchups.

If you haven’t yet checked into the college basketball season, Tuesday night might be a good place to start. The sports schedule lightens up a bit without the NFL, and we have the annual “State Farm Champions Classic” on tap in the world of college basketball. Three of the top seven teams in the country are in action in Indianapolis as we get a solid doubleheader to get the season rolling.

In the early game, Kentucky is a 6.5-point favorite over Michigan State. The Spartans are coming off a heartbreaker on Friday, as they blew a 12-point lead to Gonzaga and lost by a final score of 64-63. Unsurprisingly, Kentucky has handled Howard and Duquesne in their first two games. Kentucky is the highest ranked team at KenPom and has the third highest odds to win the title at BetMGM, so they’re a deserving favorite in this matchup. However, Tom Izzo and Michigan State kept it very close against Gonzaga, so the Spartans keeping it within 6.5-points on Tuesday night certainly isn’t out of the question.

In the night cap, Duke is a 1.5-point favorite against Kansas. Obviously the story with Duke is Jon Scheyer replacing Mike Krzyzewski. The Blue Devils have blown out their opponents in their first two games, but Kansas, the defending national champions, are certainly about thirty tiers above Duke’s first two opponents. These teams are ranked 10th and 11th in KenPom, so there’s really not much separating them, just like the spread suggests.

DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 11: Dereck Lively II #1 of the Duke Blue Devils signals a teammate during their game against the USC Upstate Spartans at Cameron Indoor Stadium on November 11, 2022 in Durham, North Carolina. Duke won 84-38. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Derrick Lively II and Duke are favored over Kansas on Tuesday night. (Lance King/Getty Images)

Midweek MACtion returns

Some people don’t like getting into college basketball until the college football season is over. It lines up pretty well with bowl season coming to an end right around the time conference play begins in college basketball. If you’re one of those people, midweek MACtion might be of more interest to you on Tuesday night.

Tuesday’s slate features two teams trying to become bowl eligible, but both are underdogs in their quest to get there.

Sitting at 5-5, Bowling Green needs to win one of their final two games to become bowl eligible, but it won’t be easy as they finish the season with two road games at Toledo and Ohio, the two best teams in the conference. On Tuesday, the Bowling Green Falcons are 15.5-point road underdogs against Toledo.

Ball State has a much better chance of becoming bowl eligible on Tuesday, as they’re just a 4-point home underdog against Ohio. Ohio has been money for bettors in conference play, as they are 6-0 against the spread. The Bobcats control their own destiny when it comes to getting to the MAC championship game, but they face a stiff test against a pesky Ball State team looking to become bowl eligible in front of their home fans.

NBA, NHL seasons march on

Things are well underway in both the NBA and NHL as their seasons march on.

In the NBA, we have a five game slate to dig our teeth into. The New Orleans Pelicans are 3.5-point home favorites against the Memphis Grizzlies. Zion Williamson is questionable to play for New Orleans, while Jaren Jackson is expected to make his season debut for the Grizzles.

Elsewhere, the Dallas Mavericks are 7.5-point favorites against the Los Angeles Clippers with Kawhi Leonard unlikely to suit up for Los Angeles.

The NHL has nine games on tap on Tuesday night.

The New Jersey Devils have won nine games in a row, and they’re a -175 favorite in Montreal to pick up their 10th straight victory. The Florida Panthers are -190 home favorites against the Washington Capitals in what is a rematch of a playoff series from last season. The Pittsburgh Penguins are a slight -105 home underdog against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

First look at Week 11 NFL lines

Week 10 of the NFL season wrapped up on Monday night with the Washington Commanders handing the Philadelphia Eagles their first loss of the season. Washington was an 11-point road underdog and paid out at +400 on the moneyline.

Jacksonville, Miami, Seattle and Tampa Bay are on a bye in Week 11, but there’s still 14 games scheduled for this upcoming weekend. Here’s a first look at the early betting lines at BetMGM: