Duke & NC State To Fall Short Of Scoreboard Setting

Duke Blue Devils players

Willie Bee

Monday, January 23, 2017 3:06 PM GMT

Coming off a huge comeback win Saturday at home, the Duke Blue Devils are big favorites on the NCAA basketball odds in Monday night's rivalry matchup vs. NC State.

So, we can put football to bed for another eight months and focus our immediate attention on college hoops. Yes, I know, technically there is one more game on the gridiron but there's no mystery in the outcome since we know Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and the New England Patriots will thrash the Atlanta Falcons.

There's still plenty of mystery on the collegiate hardwood, especially down in the ACC where there's a 3-way tie for first in the conference with Duke not part of that trio and sitting in the middle of the pack. The Blue Devils look to climb above .500 in the league standings Monday night in a true Tobacco Road tussle at home vs. the North Carolina State Wolfpack.

What is expected to be a very lopsided affair tips at little past 7 PM (ET) on ESPN. Duke went out -16 and remains there after overnight wagering. The total has been steadily dropping since opening at 163½, that mark now sitting on 160½.

 

Little Rest For Both Following Saturday Matchups

After going through its non-conference slate with only two losses, North Carolina State (13-7 straight up, 8-9 against the spread) has dropped five of seven ACC contests, including all three road affairs. The Wolfpack were home for their last three games, beating Pittsburgh between losses to Georgia Tech and Wake Forest. Saturday's 93-88 setback to the Demon Deacons came as slight favorites on the NCAA basketball odds, and can be blamed on a horrible performance at the charity stripe where Mark Gottfried's gang was outscored by 13 points on a 16-for-27 showing.

Duke (15-4 SU, 8-10 ATS) had seven days off after road losses to Florida State and Louisville and appeared headed for another defeat this past Saturday at home vs. Miami. But the Blue Devils rallied from an 11-point first-half deficit to post a 70-58 victory, covering the -10 line after losing tickets the previous three contests. The final against the Hurricanes failed to reach a 140½ point total, halting a 5-game run of 'over' winners in Duke matchups. Grayson Allen suffered a dislocated left pinky in the win over Miami, but the junior guard got patched up and continued to play, so he should be good to go tonight.

 

Duke Aims For 5th-Straight Win In Series

This evening marks the 245th meeting between the triangle teams, Duke owning a 145-99 overall advantage and 50-23 mark vs. the Wolfpack at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils have come out on top in each of the last four meetings, winning all three last year when all three tilts went 'over' the totals. NC State has covered two of its last three trips to Durham, but it has been more than 20 years since the 'Pack won on this floor.

Neither team has been making friends with any bettors following them in conference play. Duke's comeback Saturday has me leaning that direction, but there's no joy in laying this many points for a free college basketball pick, so I'll play the 'under' instead.

 

Free NCAAB Pick: Under 160½ Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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