College Basketball Odds & Picks for Duke vs. Louisville: Blue Devils in a Rout?
Lance King/Getty Images. Pictured: Paolo Banchero (left) and Wendell Moore (right).
- In Louisville's first game since the departure of Chris Mack, the Cardinals host the Duke Blue Devils in an ACC affair.
- Will the Cardinals come out motivated? Or should we keep fading them against the ACC's best?
- Kody Malstrom breaks it all down below.
Duke vs. Louisville Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
“Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.” If you recognize that quote, we can be friends.
What you don’t realize is that Alfred Pennyworth’s quote in The Dark Knight was actually about Duke basketball as of late.
As if the conference wasn’t already in shambles, its guiding light for relevance, Duke, has looked more exposed than ever. It’s coming off of a two-point win at home over Clemson, a squad that only shot one free throw the whole game.
With Duke trending in the wrong direction and Louisville completely crumbling, this matchup brings more intrigue than ever with a get-right scenario in place.
Don’t get me wrong, Duke is still by far the clear-cut favorite to win the ACC come March, but my confidence in it to do so is dwindling.
It’s had one glaring weakness all season, and that was half-court offense. The Blue Devils’ troubles were on full display again as they struggled to score on Clemson, a team that ranks 84th in AdjD.
Not only were their offensive struggles showing up, but they also played very lazily on guarding the perimeter, a recent trend the Blue Devils have been showing as of late.
Luckily for Duke, this may be the perfect get-right game as Louisville is spiraling out of control.
The offense is still one of the best in the nation, ranked 13th in AdjO. It leads the ACC in scoring with 82 points per game, led by freshman phenom Paolo Banchero, who averages 17.9 points and 7.9 rebounds while in full command of the low post.
We may see Duke lean more on Banchero as it tries to find its offensive identity again, especially if Louisville slows the game down.
With more attention on Banchero, this will open the perimeter for open looks for the Blue Devils’ perimeter shooting coming off a 50% 3-point showing in their last game.
Goodbye, Chris Mack. After seemingly losing the locker room following a poor start to the season, Louisville and its head coach decided to go separate ways after speculation for weeks.
The announcement comes after another loss, this one a 64-52 defeat on the road to a lowly Virginia squad.
The Cardinals’ struggles start with the offense, a unit that ranks 181st in AdjO, per KenPom. In a loss in its last game out, Louisville shot 32.1% from 3 and 37.5% in total.
If the Cardinals want to turn their season around, they will need to find help with scoring to keep pace with the ACC elites. Louisville is fourth-to-last in team scoring in the conference.
The Cardinals rely on the duo of Noah Locke and Malik Williams for scoring, but there’s a drop-off after that. Locke averages 10.2, while Williams brings 10 points and 8.5 rebounds.
Louisville will benefit from more open looks on the perimeter as Duke has been lacking in that department. But there may be to little-to-no hope for the Cardinals, who are the third-worst 3-point shooting team in the ACC.
Duke vs. Louisville Betting Pick
Will Mack’s release breathe new energy into the Louisville locker room? I don’t think so.
While Duke has shown more cracks in the Blue Devil shield, it will just pose too much of a challenge for a disheartened Louisville squad.
Duke has advantages in every category and will look to remind everyone why it’s the alpha of the ACC this year. Louisville simply does not have enough scoring options to keep up with Duke’s scoring pace.
Even if slowed to a halt and Duke succumbs to half-court woes, I don’t see Louisville stringing together enough successful offensive possessions to make it close.
Take the Blue Devils in a rout, and look to add on the live under in case Louisville starts out hot under the new regime.
Pick: Duke -9
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