Duke vs. Kentucky College Basketball Free Pick 11/17/15
Kentucky Wildcats (2-0) vs. Duke Blue Devils (2-0)
Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 7:30 pm (United Center)
Line: Duke Blue Devils +1.5 – Over/Under: 152.5
The Duke Blue Devils will take on the Kentucky Wildcats for a battle of top five ranked teams in the Champions Classic in Chicago Tuesday night. Both teams are undefeated for the season but neither team have convinced against the spread, as the Wildcats are 1-1-0 ATS and the Blue Devils 0-1-0 and that is despite facing rather mediocre opponents so far. The over/under is 2-0 for Kentucky and 1-0 for Duke.
Kentucky has averaged 82.5 points on 50.4% shooting from the floor, including a rather poor 28.9% from beyond the three-point arc through its first two games, while holding opponents to 61 points on 37.2% shooting. Duke meanwhile has averaged 102.5 points on 49.6% shooting from the floor and has been far more clinical from beyond the arc, making 37.3% of its 3-points attempts. It has held opponents to 74.5 points on 45.1% shooting.
Both teams have had a fair bit of turnover during the summer. The Blue Devils have lost Jahlil Okafor to the 76ers and Justise Winslow to the Heat in the NBA, but they still feature plenty of big bodies, including 7-footers Marshall Plumlee and freshman Antonio Vrankovic. Duke forward Brandon Ingram is averaging 18 points but it has been holdover Grayson Allen leading the way with a fantastic 27-point average.
Kentucky has an interesting prospect in forward Skal Labissiere who has averaged 17.5 points in his first two collegiate games and had 26 points on 10-of-12 shooting in Saturday’s 87-57 victory over New Jersey Institute of Technology. Labissiere has made 76.5 percent of his shots in the two victories so far, but now he’ll face a whole other challenge than in his first two games.
The Wildcats are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games. The Blue Devils are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games and 6-0 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games. I think taking the points on the reigning NCAA champions the Blue Devils is the way to go in this contest.