Louisville Cardinals vs. Duke Blue Devils Pick 1/18/20

by | Jan 18, 2020 | cbb

Louisville Cardinals (14-3 SU, 8-8-1 ATS) vs. Duke Blue Devils (15-2 SU, 10-7 ATS)
When: Saturday, January 18, 6 p.m.
Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, N.C.
TV: ESPN

Point Spread: LOU +7/DUKE -7 (MyBookie - Deposit $100 and get $100 FREE!)
Total: O/U 137.5

Last Time Out:

Louisville beat Pittsburgh 73-68 in overtime; Duke lost 79-72 to Clemson.

Scouting the Cardinals:

Are the Cardinals finally ready to become more than a one-man team? Jordan Nwora has been otherworldly this season, but Steven Enoch has been the only other Cardinal to average double figures in scoring this season, which has hurt Louisville at times against ACC competition. However, David Johnson might be ready to step into that void and become a second top offensive threat. Louisville coach Chris Mack likes what Johnson brings to the table, and he scored 11 points in 20 minutes against Pittsburgh to give an idea of what he can be. If Johnson can do that consistently, Louisville might have a genuine young scorer to pair with Nwora, who has so far been able to put up big numbers but has had to work at every turn for them because of attention from defenses. If he’s able to score without as much work, Louisville has a considerable edge.

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Scouting the Blue Devils

Duke has been a fairly strong defensive team this year, but the Blue Devils seem to have taken that to a new level in ACC play, as Clemson was the first team since the Michigan State game to break 70 points against the Blue Devils. What did the Tigers do well that other teams haven’t done to the Blue Devils? Clemson got good shots and hit them, knocking down 56 percent of its field goal attempts against Duke. Considering that Clemson only shoots 43.2 percent from the field for the year, that’s a rather alarming performance for a Duke team that has used defense as a point of pride. Given that Clemson only shot 50 percent from the foul line for the game, it also wasn’t because the Tigers were just in the zone.

So what’s the problem? Duke ran into a few injury issues when Wendell Moore needed hand surgery, and Joey Baker sprained an ankle, leaving Duke with a mere eight players in its rotation. While Duke’s eight are a pretty talented group, the Blue Devils don’t have enough depth to play the kind of defense that they want to play right now. That means Duke has to be an offensive-minded team to get some wins until it gets healthy, and that hasn’t been Duke’s identity this season.

X-Factor:

Stars stepping up. Nwora and Vernon Carey play different positions, but they’re going to have all eyes on them from the opening tip in this game. Both are genuine stars, and this will be the only chance that we get to see them face off with each other unless they meet again in the ACC tournament. Nwora does his best work at the mid-range level, while Carey is best under the basket. Both stars are likely to see a lot of double teams. Whoever handles their defenders best and takes over the game is likely to pull off a victory.

Louisville will Cover if:

The Cardinals can tune out the crowd. Louisville should be no stranger to playing on the road st this point, as it’s gone on the road twice in the past week and came out with wins over Pittsburgh and Notre Dame. Duke is obviously a tougher test than anything Louisville has faced this season, and the Cardinals have to be ready from the word go if they’re going to have any hope at getting a result in this environment.

Duke will Cover if:

The Blue Devils can force the Cardinals to push the ball. Louisville doesn’t like to play an up-tempo game under Chris Mack, which gives Mike Krzyzewski a major key to beating the Cardinals. The Blue Devils like to play fast at any point in the game, so Duke needs to establish Vernon Carey early and force the Cardinals into mistakes. If Louisville struggles again with not coughing up the ball, or if Duke can’t keep itself from getting gassed, the Cardinals will take control.

Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread:

Duke hasn’t lost consecutive games where one is played at home since falling to Notre Dame and Syracuse at home in 2016. Ironically, that second Syracuse game was also played on Jan. 18.“

So, what does that mean for this game? It means that this is a bet at your own risk situation. On the one hand, grabbing Louisville and seven points is a fairly reasonable play against anyone. On the other, Duke is coming off a loss and tends to play pretty ticked off when it’s just been beaten in the previous game leagues,

I don’t think Duke stops Jordan Nwora from doing what he’s done to college basketball this year, and I think this might be the game where he shows just how good he is on a national stage. If he can get the help he needs from Johnson, Enoch, or another teammate, Nwora can be a truly special college player.

I think this is the kind of game that goes a long way toward betting him and collecting a win.. Give me the Cardinals to cover in a game that they might grab the outright win. Where do you bet your college basketball picks? Does your bookie give you the opportunity to bet at discounted odds? NO! He doesn’t! Dump him and his over-priced gig TODAY and start saving huge money by spending just a few minutes to sign up for -105 odds at 5Dimes! You’ll be so glad you did!