Blue Devils -37 as Duke Looks to Impress in Season Opener

Steven Suarez

Friday, November 14, 2014 7:20 PM UTC

Friday, Nov. 14, 2014 7:20 PM UTC

The Blue Devils are laying a ton of points, but we still wouldn't touch the underdogs in this situation. Duke is the clear-cut college basketball betting favorite for tonight and should stroll to a win.

Odds Overview
We've gotten used to seeing Duke favored by an obscene amount of points, whether they deserve to be or not. It's just the name of the game.

Quite literally, the Blue Devils' name recognition alone often makes them overvalued on the college basketball odds boards. Is that the case for tonight? Maybe, maybe not, but you're going to have to lay a ton of points if you want some action on Duke here. Coach K's squad is favored by 36 points at this time.

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Duke Blue Devils
The Blue Devils lost only nine games in all last season, but after a wildly successful regular season, they fell short in both the ACC and NCAA tournaments. They lost to Virginia in the ACC finals and then bowed out in the second round to #14-seeded Mercer.

Duke, of course, was led by Jabari Parker, who's now in the NBA. He averaged 19.1 PPG and 8.7 RPG for the Blue Devils as a freshman. Fellow NBA newbie Rodney Hood was also a big part of the team, averaging 16.1 points per contest.

With both players gone, how on earth will Coach K fill the void? Let's be real: Duke always has talent coming in, and this season is no different.

The main man on campus will be Jahlil Okafor, who was named to the preseason All American team. He's widely considered one of the best prospects in quite some time, and it's obvious he's going to make an immediate impact for a Blue Devils team that's been lacking an inside presence for a while. 

There's also hype surrounding fellow freshmen Tyus Jones, Grayson Allen and Justise Winslow, while notable returnees include Quinn Cook, Rasheed Sulaimon, Matt Jones and Amile Jefferson. Marshall Plumlee will be entering a critical year as a junior, since he's failed to make much happen in his time with Duke so far.


What a way to kick off your regular season. The Blue Hose, a Big South minnow, will be making the trek to Durham to take on the mighty Blue Devils, and they're priced out as a humungous underdog. 

How did Presbyterian fare last season? Not so well. The Blue Hose won only six games in all of 2013-14, so needless to say we don't have much faith in their chances in this year's opener.

Last year's squad was led by Jordan Downing, who averaged 20.2 PPG and 4.5 RPG. Reggie Dillard and William Truss also averaged in double figures for Presbyterian. 

The good news for the Blue Hose is they will return all five starters this coming season. Downing is the one to watch, but we reckon Coach K will have something in mind to keep the high-scoring combo guard in least somewhat. Whatever the case, everything is going to have to go right for Presbyterian to even have a chance of staying close tonight.


NCAA Basketball Pick
We know the Blue Devils will win this game, but when it comes to locking in our NCAA Basketball picks, are we willing to lay so many points??

Of course they will. The REAL question: will they absolute demolish the Blue Hose? We believe so, as this is a very talented Duke team from top to bottom, one that has a great deal of balance to its makeup this season. Okafor will immediately make the Blue Devils a force, and we know they've always got knockdown shooters (Jones, Sulaimon, Allen) year after year. There's a great mix of experience and exciting young talent.

Duke has been preparing for this game for a while and isn't going to take its foot off the proverbial pedal. If you're going to make a play on this game, don't overthink it -- side with a (way) more talented Duke team to win by a huge margin inside Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Blue Devils -37 at Bet365

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