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What can we expect from two primetime games on the first Saturday of the 2020 college basketball season?

Virginia Tech vs. #3 Villanova Predictions

Bet: Villanova -10 @ -105

  • Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is averaging 23 points and 9 rebounds per game this season

Villanova has looked like one of the best teams in the country early on in the 2020 season, shooting out to a 2-0 record and winning the 2K Empire Classic with victories over Boston College and Arizona State.

They will come into Saturday’s game against VT with the best player on the floor in forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl. The Sophomore from IMG capped the Empire Classic with a 28-point, 8-rebound performance in the win over #18 Arizona State.

Sophomore Justin Moore and senior Collin Gillespie give the Wildcats good guard scoring to surround the talented Robinson-Earl, and should help open the floor for him as teams start to key on him and collapse on the paint.

I like VT this season and think Keve Aluma, Hunter Cattoor and Naheim Alleyne will lead them to a better finish than the 16-16 performance in 2019, but Villanova has a real shot at winning another National Title this year and 11 points seems like an easily doable margin of victory Saturday night.

Notre Dame vs. #13 Michigan State Predictions

Bet: Michigan State -9.5 @ -110

  • Michigan State guard Foster Loyer scored 20 points in their season-opening win over Eastern Michigan

Saturday is the first time we’ll see the Irish in 2020, following a 20-12 season last year. Meanwhile. Michigan State is 1-0 on the year and comes in as the #13 team in the country.

Leading scorer John Mooney is gone for the Irish, so they’ll need to replace what he brought to them on offense in 2019. They’re clearly the worse team in this one, but can they hang with the Spartans?

Notre Dame isn’t the only team that needs to replace production. The Spartans are without last season’s leader on and off the court in Cassius Winston. Winston averaged 18.6 points and 5.9 assists per game in 2019, and it will most likely take a group of players rather than just one to fill the void his graduation left in East Lansing.

I think we’ll see more of Rocket Watts this time out. He came off the bench and played just 23 minutes in the season opener after he missed practice time with a bruised kneecap. He and Foster Loyer are going to give Notre Dame fits, and I expect a double-digit win from the Spartans.

Article Author


Brian is a sports journalist with close to ten years of experience in the business. A lifelong Philadelphia sports fan with a passion for all things sports gambling.


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