La Salle vs Duke Odds, Pick | NCAAB Betting Guide
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images. Pictured: Fran Dunphy (La Salle)
La Salle vs Duke Odds, Pick
Every team with Final Four aspirations has a few games on the schedule where they're simply expected to take care of business. That's easier said than done, especially when mid-major opponents are eager to pull off an upset.
That's what we'll see when the La Salle Explorers visit the Duke Blue Devils in Durham Tuesday night. This game could be a sleepy, holiday-week slog, overshadowed by some of the huge matchups in the Maui Invitational, the Bahamas and elsewhere.
Here's La Salle vs Dukeodds and a pick, including an NCAAB betting guide for Tuesday, Nov. 21.
La Salle's program is in an interesting place. Located in one of the country's best basketball cities, the Explorers were once a regular fixture in March. Back-to-back trips to the title game, with one win, in the 1950s led to regular NCAA tournament appearances throughout the next several decades.
Since 1992, however, the Explorers have made just one Big Dance, the memorable Sweet 16 run sparked by Tyrone Garland's "Southwest Philly Floater."
A string of coaches have been seen as the savior, ready to bring winning ways back to 20th and Olney. In 2018, it was Ashley Howard. He was a young, rising assistant coach, coming off two national titles with Villanova. In theory, he was the right kind of hire. In practice, his La Salle teams never developed and he was fired after four seasons on the job.
Looking for the right answer at the helm, La Salle turned to an unexpected source. Former Penn and Temple coach Fran Dunphy, once a star as a player for La Salle, came home to his alma mater at the ripe age of 73 years old.
It was a high risk move, but so far, it's looked like the right play. Dunphy's first team last season had some bright spots, but succumbed to two different five-game losing streaks in conference play.
It's no surprise that a coach that's been around for decades is doing things the old school way, though it's working. None of the eight players who have played for La Salle this season have ever played for another school. In the transfer-happy world of 2023, that's unheard of.
That experience and familiarity has shown on the court so far. These Explorers were picked to finish last by the coaches of the Atlantic 10, but they're one of just two remaining unbeatens in the conference (albeit against a very pedestrian schedule).
La Salle ranks in the bottom 20 nationally in turning the ball over, fueling an offense led by two penetrating guards, Khalil Brantley and Jhamir Brickus. If the supporting pieces on the wings can continue to hit shots from outside, La Salle's offense will continue to prop up a subpar defense.
If you were playing out this Duke season in a video game, you'd be tempted to simulate plenty of games. The Devils' non-conference schedule only has four real games of interest, with a loss to Arizona and win over Michigan State already in the books.
Other than upcoming games against Arkansas and Baylor, there aren't a ton of matchups that will teach us much about this team.
Even the ACC slate, with only a few teams in Duke's class, will offer a mixed bag for a team that will ultimately be judged by what it does in March.
The regular season will do a lot more to tell us about Duke's ceiling than its floor. The floor is pretty high, considering Jon Scheyer welcomed back most of his roster from last season.
The ceiling could be limitless. If Kyle Filipowski plays like a POY candidate and the Blue Devils' backcourt looks like one of the best in the nation, there's nothing stopping Duke from being a one-seed in March and a title contender into April.
It would be reassuring to see Filipowski take control of a game like this, especially after taking just four shots against a bad Bucknell team. Say what you will about the level of competition or time of the year, but that type of box score isn't expected from a first team All-American.
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La Salle vs. Duke
Betting Pick & Prediction
This is an interesting spot for Duke. We're at the sleepiest spot on the Blue Devils' schedule, a three-game stretch of Bucknell, La Salle and Southern Indiana. It's feasible to see letdown game somewhere in the stretch, especially with Cameron likely not at its "craziest" in a holiday week.
If one of those three teams is going to challenge Duke for a few minutes longer than expected, it's La Salle. The Explorers are a veteran team with an experienced head coach. Their ability to avoid turnovers, in favor of finding quality shots, should travel with them, even at Cameron.
If this line had come in closer to -20, I'd be more uncertain. At this number, La Salle feels modestly undervalued.
Pick: La Salle +24
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