Davidson Wildcats (10-2) +13 at No. 2 Duke Blue Devils (12-1) -13
Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, N.C., 7:00PM Eastern, Wednesday
By Jay Horne of Predictem.com
The Duke Blue Devils jumped up to the number 2 ranking among the nation in the Associated Press Polls this week. Duke has knocked off 4 straight wins since their lone loss of the season from the Michigan Wolverines. The Blue Devils will host the nations top performer Stephen Curry and the Davidson Wildcats Wednesday night inside Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Wildcats were previously ranked among the nations top 25, but suffered two losses against Oklahoma and Purdue. Davidson will get opportunity to prove they are among the NCAAs best when they attempt to bring down the Blue Devils in front of the nation on ESPN.
Duke has played exceptionally well this season and they will try to keep the momentum flowing when they square off with a high-scoring Davidson team. Coach K has the Blue Devils playing some of the best defense in the ACC this season. Duke has the 38th ranked scoring defense allowing 60 points per contest. The Blue Devils will attempt to slow down a high power Wildcat team that is averaging over 80 points per contest. The Blue Devils have also averaged 80+ points this season and sport the 11th best scoring offense in America . This game has all the tools to be a high scoring shootout and the Blue Devils will get the chance to show everyone how good they really are against a solid Davidson team. College basketball rarely mentions hostile environments to decide games, but the Cameron Crazies are among the best fans in the nation and they will be hyped up when the Wildcats come rolling into town.
Davidson owns the best player in America in junior guard Stephen Curry. Curry leads the 14th best scoring offense in the country that averages 82 points per contest. Curry leads the nation in scoring averaging slightly less than 30 points per game. Curry has an amazing 4 point average over the nations second leading scorer Lester Hudson of UT-Martin. However, Curry will face a tough challenge against one of the better defensive teams in college basketball. The Wildcats are shooting 44% from the floor this season and they will need to knock down some shots against the high-scoring offense of the Blue Devils.
Sportsbetting.ag has opened the betting line favoring the number 2 ranked team in American by a strong 13 points. Early betting action shows the majority of the betting public is also favoring the Blue Devils to cover the spread. ATS odds have Duke at -115 and Davidson at -105 early in the betting process.
The Wildcats only have two players averaging in double figures for the season. Andrew Lovedale accompanies Stephen Curry in double figures averaging 12.8 points per game. Davidson has racked up the rebounds this year with 36 per game. However, the Wildcats are along 34 rebounds that rank among the nations worse. Davidson will have to overcome two big factors to give them a legitimate chance to win. One is they must not allow Duke to control the boards. The Blue Devils rank in the top 30 in rebounds in the nation for both rebounds for and allowed. Davidson will face a difficult challenge to get the second chance opportunities they will need. Also, the Wildcats must not wear down. Davidson bench play has not been good this season and the Blue Devils have a stellar bench. If the Wildcats can do those two things, they may have a shot.
Duke has 4 of their 5 starter averaging double figures and poses and threat in multiple areas of the court. Sophomore Kyle Singler has been solid averaging 16.5 points per game and 7.8 rebounds. Jon Scheyer, Gerald Henderson, and Nolan Smith are the other 3 players averaging at least 10 points or more. All of those guys can get hot on any given night. The Blue Devils are shooting a very strong 48% from the floor that ranks among the nations top 30 of most effective shooting teams. The Blue Devils will try to prove their national supremacy and prove they deserve the nations number 2 ranking a spot which many believe is too high.
Duke is a strong 8-4 ATS this season while reaching the under in 7 of 12 games as well. The Blue Devils are also 6-3 ATS in games this season when favored by more than 10 points. The Wildcats are 4-6 ATS and have been on both sides of the over/under totals equally this season. Davidson has lost their last 4 games ATS.
Jays Pick – Duke held Virginia Tech to a staggering low 44 points and I believe the Blue Devils are playing too well right now to not cover this number. Take Duke -13.