Elon +23 Our NCAA Basketball Pick As Duke Deals With Multiple Injuries

Joe Catalano

Monday, December 28, 2015 5:07 PM GMT

Even though Elon is a massive underdog, Duke is paper thin up front and this could be a closer game than most people think. See who we like as our NCAA basketball pick in this matchup.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Phoenix +23
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

Tip-off is set for tonight at 8:00 p.m. EST at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina. This game can be seen on ESPN U. According to 5Dimes Sportsbook NCAA basketball odds board, odds makers believe in Duke as the Blue Devils are a 23 point betting favorite despite coming off of their 2nd loss of the season. The total for the game is listed at 158.5

 

More Responsibility For Plumlee
Although his brothers are both in the NBA and he's the weakest player out of the bunch, big man, Marshall Plumlee possess a great work ethic. This blue collar mentality will take him into the military after college and for Duke, hopefully push him to provide maximum effort in this game. Chase Jeter is a freshman that needs a lot of work and Amille Jefferson is out of action. This leaves Plumlee with extra playing time and more responsibility.

For the season, Plumlee is averaging 5.7 points and 6.6 rebounds. He will need to put forth his best effort as everything that he does is around the paint, Duke lacks size, and Elon is a bit underrated, winning their last 6 games. I look for Plumlee to play sound fundamental basketball and help give Duke a boost.

 

Is There A Doctor In The House?
Duke's leading scorer, Grayson Allen, has been dealing with a flu bug. It's partially why he shot 3 for 18 from the field against Utah and didn't score his first point of the game until the 2nd half.

This is a 20 point per game scorer that can rebound the basketball and shoots over 40% from beyond the arc. Duke can ill-afford Allen to have a repeat performance or this game will be up for grabs. I don't expect that to happen as Allen is a big time player and Duke gets an easier matchup in Elon University. This will allow Allen to rest at times if need be.

Allen will also have the support of Brandon Ingram (14.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.4 steals) and Matt Jones (14 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 44.6% from 3-point range). I don't think that Duke will score their usual 86 points per game, but there's plenty of firepower on offense and Duke has played better opponents.

 

Catching Duke At The Right Time
We don't really know how Grayson Allen will play in this game and Duke is weak up front. This is the perfect oppportunity for Elon to make this a competitive game as they come into Cameron Indoor Stadium with a great deal of momentum.

 

Tanner Samson
He is the go to guy that the Phoenix will rely upon to keep the crowd quiet. This is a player that has the experience, the size, and the shooting ability to lead a team.

He's somewhat similar to J.J. Redick. For the season, Samson is averaging 15.8 points and 5 rebounds to go along with 43.2% shooting from 3-point range. Samson averages 3.4 3-pointers per ball game and if Duke is still reeling from their loss to Utah. This game can be closer than the spread indicates.

I think Elon has caught Duke at an opportune time. Duke has injuries, illnesses, and is weak up front; not a good combination. Take Elon and the points for your NCAA basketball picks.

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