Davidson vs. Duke: NCAA Basketball Picks

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, January 2, 2013 1:44 PM GMT

Duke has won 23 consecutive meetings against Davidson heading into Wednesday night’s matchup, while also posting a perfect record when playing as the nation’s top-ranked team in this series.


Let’s take a closer look at this contest from a betting perspective. 

Staying perfect

The Duke Blue Devils will be looking to open the season with 13 straight wins for the seventh time under coach Mike Krzyzewski, as it comes off a 90-77 victory over Santa Clara as 17-point home favorites Saturday.  Seniors Seth Curry, Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee lead the charge offensively for the No. 1 team in college basketball, combining to score 49.0 points per game.  The program is 6-12 against the spread (ATS) in January the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 10-7 in that situation. 

Up-and-down year 

The Davidson Wildcats returned 98 percent of their scoring from a year ago, but they’ve struggled to find consistency in the early going during the 2012-13 campaign, entering this high-profile affair with a 7-5 record.  On Saturday, the team nearly blew a 23-point lead, ultimately coming away with a solid 70-64 win over the Richmond Spiders as two-point road underdogs. 

Series domination 

Sports bettors may elect to back the Blue Devils at the double-digit price that’s represented on the college basketball odds page, considering they’ve won 23 consecutive games in this series.  Duke has also managed to compile a perfect 6-0 record when playing Davidson as the nation’s top program, capturing those contests by an average of 34.2 points per game.  It’s also important to note that the UNDER is 6-1 in the last seven meetings. 

Knocking it down from the charity stripe 

There’s no doubt that the Wildcats deserve a long look as one of your college basketball picks against the spread, as they rank third nationally in shooting 79.5 percent from the free-throw line, which could easily create a backdoor cover.  With that being said, the Blue Devils have knocked down 80.2 percent of their tries from the line when playing on a neutral floor, with this game being played at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte.   

[gameodds]14/134768/19-999996-198-93-123/us[/gameodds]

Leading by example

Duke’s starters are accounting for 87.2 percent of the team’s scoring this year, as the five-player unit paces the NCAA in scoring 70.8 points per game.  Davidson has some depth on its roster, with its top eight scorers back from a year ago, which could be a major factor when handicapping this contest.  

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers play the OVER as one of their NCAA basketball predictions Wednesday, as the Wildcats have gone above the number in both of their opportunities as an underdog, while the Blue Devils are averaging 79.4 points per game when playing on a neutral floor.

College Basketball Pick:  Over 149 at Bookmaker