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On Friday night, the Duke Blue Devils will play their second game of the 2019-20 season, taking on Colorado State at home at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The game will tip-off at 7:00 P.M ET and be broadcast nationally on the brand new ACC Network.
Rams Hoping to Overcome Rough PatchThe Colorado State Rams basketball team has had a hard time getting back on their feet since the Larry Eustachy scandal of two seasons ago. They won just 12 games last year under new head coach Niko Medved. The Rams got off on the right foot in their season opener this year, however, beating Denver 74-63 at home.
Colorado State is leaning on the strength of its returning nucleus this year. The four players who scored in double figures in their opener are all returning players, highlighted by seniors Kris Martin and Nico Carvacho. Edwards, who transferred from Oral Roberts before his junior year, led the team in scoring with 18 points while Carvacho, who's spent his entire career in Colorado Springs, posted a double-double in their opener with 10 points and 11 boards. Sophomore Adam Thistlewood added 15 points and nine rebounds.
One new addition who can be an X-factor is freshman Isaiah Stevens. A three-star recruit from Texas, Stevens is a good shooter and has already cracked the Rams starting lineup. He played 27 minutes in the opening win over Denver.
Duke Off on the Right FootDuke got off on the right foot in their opener, beating a very good Kansas team at Madison Square Garden. The Jayhawks were ranked No. 3 in the country going into the game while the Blue Devils were one spot behind them. When the next rankings cycle comes out, that will change, just as long as they avoid a catastrophe against the Rams.
Top plays from the Champions Classic 🍿🚀✊🤩🔒 pic.twitter.com/76f7JMt3oj— Duke Basketball (@DukeMBB) November 6, 2019
The team looks vastly different from a year ago, but with the way Duke recruits and turns college players into pros, that's a regular occurrence. Point guard Tre Jones is the leader going into this season, partly because he's supremely talented but also because he was on the team from a year ago. He averaged 9.4 points and 5.3 assists per game last year. This year, the shots are going to come more frequently due to the loss of their top scorers from a year ago. In their opener, Jones attempted a team-high 14 field goal attempts.
Other guys who will factor in this year are top recruits Cassius Stanley, Vincent Carey Jr. and Matthew Hurt. Juniors Jordan Goldwire and Alex O'Connell saw significant minutes in the opener vs. Kansas despite averaging less than 15 minutes per game in their first two seasons.
Duke's defense forced an eye-popping 28 turnovers against Kansas in their opener. At home against a lesser opponent, they could really create havoc on the defensive end.
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
COL. ST is:
- 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight-up win.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Call me crazy but this is a really good spot for the Colorado State Rams basketball team. They're a very experienced group and all four of their leading scorers this season have been a part of the program for multiple years. Playing on the road, that definitely matters. They'll be getting 24 points against a very good Duke team, but a Duke team that's full of brand new freshmen who haven't played together all that much. Despite the win against Kansas, the Blue Devils were poor in several metrics; they shot just 35.9 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three, and 60.9 percent from the charity stripe. They'll beat the Rams but it's going to be a 10-12 point game, not a complete blowout.
Prediction: Colorado State +24
Full-Game Total Pick
This game is going to be like the Super Bowl for Colorado State; it's a game against Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium, arguably the absolute mecca of college hoops. With that, you can guarantee the first thing they focus on is defense and effort. The Rams have had unders in six of their last seven contests and that's not by coincidence. Dating back to last season, they have held their last three opponents to just 60 points, and this year's team is almost identical. Per KenPom, they have the 36th most experienced team out of 350+ Division 1 programs. For good measure, the Duke Blue Devils haven't had an over in their last five regular-season non-conference home games.
Prediction: Under 146