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Betting Markets View MSU Men’s Basketball As Contender, But Not Michigan

The Wolverines added graduate transfers in an attempt to make up for Hunter Dickinson’s departure




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The University of Michigan’s men’s basketball program recently announced the official additions of three graduate transfers, but it’s Michigan State’s team that holds the shorter betting odds to win the 2023-24 national championship. 

Michigan State is +1500 to cut down the nets next April at both DraftKings and FanDuel, which are among the mobile sportsbooks operating in Michigan. While the Spartans are viewed as a top contender, the same can’t be said for the Wolverines, who have odds of +8000 on DraftKings and +9500 on FanDuel to win next season’s national championship. 

Barstool Sportsbook and BetRivers are a bit more kind to Michigan, with each operator giving the Wolverines +7000 odds. Barstool Sportsbook and BetRivers, like DraftKings and FanDuel, give the Spartans +1500 odds to win the championship. 

Michigan transfer additions

The loss of center Hunter Dickinson, who transferred to Kansas, was a big blow to Michigan’s prospects next season. Still, the Wolverines have attracted notable talent through the transfer portal. 

Michigan recently added Alabama graduate transfer Nimari Burnett, a guard with decent size. He joins a pair of forwards, Olivier Nkamhoua (Tennessee), and Tray Jackson (Seton Hall), as offseason graduate transfer additions for Michigan. 

Michigan has a few key returnees, like guards Dug McDaniel and Jaelin Llewellyn. They form what should be a respectable backcourt, especially with Burnett’s possible contributions. 

On paper, however, Michigan doesn’t have the same firepower as many of its Big Ten rivals. Dickinson’s low-post prowess gave Michigan something to fall back on in recent seasons. Without him, the Wolverines may opt for a more guard-oriented attack., a basketball analytics website, projects Michigan’s current group to be the 55th-most efficient in college basketball next season. Essentially, those projections suggest the Wolverines could be on the fringe of qualifying for the NCAA Tournament next year.

Michigan State roster appears loaded

Michigan State, which made the Sweet 16 a season ago, returns several key contributors. Tyson Walker, A.J. Hoggard, Jaden Akins, and Malik Hall will all be back. The Spartans have significant experience and talent, an ideal combination for success in March. 

The Spartans are also bringing in a top-five recruiting class, according to 24/7 Sports, that is the highest-rated in the Big Ten. The class is headlined by incoming freshman center Xavier Booker, who figures to see immediate playing time in the post. 

Additionally, Tom Izzo is widely viewed as one of the top coaches in college basketball. Bart Torvik views the Spartans as a top-10 team, with the offense projected to be slightly more efficient than the defense. 

If Michigan State wins the national championship, it will become the first Big Ten team to do so since the Spartans accomplished the feat in 2000.

Photo: Rey Del Rio/Getty Images