Duke to Cover NCAA Basketball Odds Easily vs. Pittsburgh

Steven Suarez

Monday, January 19, 2015 2:25 PM GMT

The Blue Devils, fresh off a statement road win over Louisville, now turn their attention to Pittsburgh for another ACC showdown. What's the best play with our college basketball picks?

Odds Overview
Current NCAA basketball odds offerings show the Blue Devils favored by 15 points, as oddsmakers expect them to keep momentum going with a fairly easy win back inside Cameron Indoor today. A total for this evening's contest had yet to have been released at time of this writing.

 

Duke Blue Devils
No one really expected the Blue Devils to run the table without a loss (look to Kentucky if that's what you're after), but it was certainly surprising to see them drop two straight games. Following a perfect 14-0 start, Duke lost to NC State on the road and then Miami (FL) at home, and those losses are sure to make things very interesting in the conference race.

However, the Blue Devils showed good spirit by bouncing back to beat Louisville on the road this past weekend. Duke locked in defensively on their way to a 63-52 victory. The duo of Jahlil Okafor and Amile Jefferson was instrumental to the team's success, as Okafor really turned it on in the second half on his way to 18 points and seven boards. Jefferson finished with 19 points and seven boards, with the Blue Devils shooting 48.8 percent overall and, more impressively, holding Louisville to under 30 percent shooting (29.5).

And, now it's time to make amends to the Cameroon Indoor faithful, who had to watch their beloved team lose to the Hurricanes recently. Will the fans be leaving the arena happy this time around?

Check out this NCAA Basketball Handicapping article on Top Offensive Teams 2015

Pittsburgh Panthers
After dropping two of their first three ACC tilts, the Panthers have turned it around by winning consecutive games over Florida State and then Georgia Tech. On the season Pittsburgh is a solid 13-5, though it should be noted they haven't beaten any programs of note thus far - of course that could change, maybe as soon as today, but we're just pointing out we haven't been impressed with the Panthers' strength of schedule to this point.

Individually, Pittsburgh is led by Michael Young, who's averaging 13.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, both of which are team highs. James Robinson has been a key component too, as he's putting up averages of 10.2 PPG, 4.8 APG and 3.7 RPG, while Cameron Wright, Jamel Artis, Chris Jones and Josh Newkirk are all playing significant minutes for the Panthers too.

But, we're really going to get a clearer picture of just how good (or bad) this Pittsburgh team really is after tonight's over and done with. There's no better challenge than taking on the Blue Devils inside Cameron Indoor, so a lot will be learned on MLK Day. How fitting.

 

NCAA Basketball Pick
Momentum is a funny thing, and we intend to ride that wave this evening. With our college basketball picks, we like the Blue Devils to cover at home, despite them having to win by such a large margin.

It was hard not to be impressed with Duke's tenacity against the talented Cardinals, especially when you consider the tough environment the game was played in. The Blue Devils showed a lot of heart and desire in that win, and now that the pressures of an undefeated season are out of the way, they can play looser on the court, and that shoud only help with how much talent they've got.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has mainly been the beneficary of a relatively easy early-season schedule. There isn't really a win that stands out as impressive for the Panthers so far, so we think they could be in for a wakeup call tonight. We like Duke to win easily and will add them to our sports picks for the day.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Duke Blue Devils -15 at 5Dimes