Take Toledo +20.5 for NCAA Basketball Pick vs. Duke

Darin Zank

Monday, December 29, 2014 4:49 PM GMT

Monday, Dec. 29, 2014 4:49 PM GMT

Duke owns a 38-game winning streak at Cameron Indoor Insane Asylum, going 21-17 against the spread in the process. But we expect the Toledo Rockets to cover the large spread tonight.

Toledo Rockets vs. Duke Blue Devils Betting Odds
Most books opened Duke at right around -20 for tonight's game, with a total of 153; many shops then bumped the Blue Devils to -20.5, and dropped the total to 152.

 

Rockets-Blue Devils: Match-Up
Duke returned three starters this season from a team that went 26-9 last season, but lost early in the NCAA tournament. So the Blue Devils are out for redemption this season.

Duke is off to a 10-0 start to this season, with every victory coming by double-digits. But after covering their first five games the Blue Devils are only 1-4 ATS over their last five outings, in part because of some inflated pointspreads.

Earlier this season Duke beat Michigan State 81-71, covering as an eight-point favorite; topped Temple by 20, covering at -17; beat Stanford 70-59, covering at -10; and won at Wisconsin 80-70 as a four-point underdog. But the Dukies couldn't cover -41 against Furman, -27 against Army or -32 against Elon – but then again, those are huge spreads, regardless of the opponent.

Last time out, 11 days ago, the Dukies defeated Connecticut 66-56, but couldn't quite cover as 11-point favorites.

Duke shot just 37.5 percent from the field against the Huskies, made just five of 19 shots from 3-point land and turned the ball over 17 times.

Toledo returned four starters this season from a team that went 27-7 last season, including senior point guard Julius Brown, who leads the team in both scoring and assists (16/5 per game). For their last game the Rockets started three seniors, a junior and a sophomore.

Toledo started 2-4 this season, with losses to VCU and Oregon, but has won its last five in a row, three of those in blowout fashion. Last time out, nine days ago, the Rockets beat McNeese State 83-69, in a game that wasn't lined.

Toledo shot 46 percent from the floor against the Cowboys, hit eight of 17 shots from beyond the arc and 15 of 19 free-throws, and only committed five turnovers.

Earlier this season the Rockets covered as 11-point underdogs in NCAA Basketball odds against Virginia Commonwealth, but couldn't quite cover as six-point dogs against Oregon.

 

Rockets-Blue Devils Key Numbers
Toledo is one of the better shooting teams in the country this season, hitting at 47 percent from the field, 39 percent from 3-point range and 77 percent from the FT line. At the other end of the floor the Rockets are holding opponents to 42.5 percent FG shooting.

Duke is shooting 52 percent from the floor this season, 37 percent from long range but only 68.5 percent from the FT line. And those free-throws can come in handy when trying to cover a big spread. The Dukies are also holding foes to 40.5 percent shooting, and just 27 percent from 3-point range.

 

Rockets-Blue Devils Betting Trends
Toledo is 1-1 on OVER/UNDERS this season, with Rockets games averaging 146 points.

Duke is 4-4 on the totals, as Dukies games are also averaging 146 points.

 

Rockets-Blue Devils Free Pick
Yes, Duke will likely win this game, but Toledo might have enough to keep this one interesting. The Rockets can hit the threes, and the Blue Devils are a little iffy from the FT line. So we'll take Toledo and the points for our NCAA Basketball pick.

Free College Basketball Pick: Rockets +20.5 at The Greek Sportsbook

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