Georgia Southern +29 Our NCAA Basketball Pick As History Suggests Duke Won't Cover

Willie Bee

Tuesday, December 15, 2015 12:27 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015 12:27 PM UTC

On a Tuesday college basketball betting card filled with double-digit spreads, the biggest chalk of all is Duke at home hosting Georgia Southern. Don't miss the NCAA basketball odds analysis inside.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Georgia Southern +29
Best Odds Offered By BetOnline


There are 34 games on the men's college basketball fixture, and 10 of them boast double-digit spreads, four of those of 20 points or more. Naturally, the worldwide leader in sports chose to broadcast the biggest mismatch in its juiciest prime-time slot.

That's because the largest favorite just so happens to be the Duke Blue Devils who will have a packed house behind them in the 7 PM (ET) telecast on The Deuce. Duke's next victim will be the Georgia Southern Eagles, BetOnline starting with an aggressive -30 in this lopsided affair, those NCAA Basketball odds now sitting at -29 across the board. The total is just starting to appear, and 154 is that early figure.

There is a little bit of history between these two schools, and by little I mean Duke has coasted to victory in both meetings. Both matchups took place in Durham, the first in November 2006 when the Blue Devils eased to a 72-48 victory as 18½ point favorites and a matchup about two years later that saw Mike Krzyzewski's squad paste a 97-54 bruise on GSU on a -28 spread. Totals split in those two affairs with 160 and 147 point totals, respectively.

Must Read: Tuesday's NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day

Blue Devils Close 5-Game Homestand
Duke (8-1 SU, 3-5 ATS) has enjoyed the friendly confines of Cameron since before Thanksgiving, and the Blue Devils will have two more home games after their Christmas break following this Saturday's matchup at MSG against Utah. Coach K's crew won't taste their first true road game until after we flip calendars to 2016 and they hit the road to begin ACC play at Boston College and Wake Forest.

Away from game action the past 10 days, the Blue Devils saw a string of three consecutive covers come to an end their last time out in the 82-59 win vs. Buffalo that just fell short of a -24½ closing line. It was Duke's 6th-straight win since getting banged by Kentucky, and coincidentally, the worst shooting performance since the Blue Devils went 22-for-54 (41%) against the Wildcats. They also shot 24-for-59 (41%) vs. the Bulls, making up for that with a 29-for-36 (81%) performance from the charity stripe. Duke is averaging over 20 PPG from the free throw line.

Known for raining treys as often as possible, the Blue Devils are actually a middling 184th nationally in attempts from outside the line (20.0 per game), converting those into close to 24 points. Grayson Allen and Matt Jones are the two you have to focus on, each hitting better than 46% from long range while combining for more than 10 attempts each outing.


Both Teams Could Show Early Rust
It has been nearly two weeks since Mark Byington and Georgia Southern (3-4 straight up, 1-2 against the spread) last took the floor for a game. How fast the Eagles can just get up to speed against an opponent as strong as Duke -- assuming the Blue Devils aren't rusty as well -- is the first real key to the game and the outcome on the college basketball odds. The last three opponents GSU faced were roadies at USC Upstate and Savannah State, and a home game against none other than Bob Jones U.

Ole Miss and Auburn are going to be the closest teams to Duke in talent the Eagles have faced. While they did come back and make the game interesting in the second half against the Rebels to cover a 16½ point line, Byington's boys will need to play over their heads defensively in this one and catch the Blue Devils on a sloppy night at the same time to get comfortably inside the number.

It's the biggest spread hung on Duke so far this year, if you discount the unlined affair vs. Bryant, and the Blue Devils didn't cover the other two that carried spreads in the -20's. With word that senior forward Amile Jefferson is out with a left ankle injury, I'm taking the points for my free NCAA Basketball pick.

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