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Can No. 2 Duke Continue its Tear Through the ACC vs No. 16 Louisville?

Duke vs Louisville Betting Odds

The No. 16 Louisville Cardinals return home for a two-game homestand as they welcome the No. 2 Duke Blue Devils to the KFC Yum! Center. Louisville is wrapping up its stretch of four straight games vs ranked opponents, going 1-2 SU through the first three, while Duke is aiming to extend its seven-game winning streak. The Blue Devils have won the last two meetings with the Cardinals and are an 8-point favorite in tonight’s game with the total opening at 151 points.

Shark Bites
  • Duke is 7-0 SU and 5-2 ATS in its last seven games.
  • Duke averages the third-most points per game in the nation this season (86.8).
  • The total has gone UNDER in five of Duke’s last six games.

Duke vs Louisville Game Center

Blue Devils Are Coming off Tremendous Road Win

I think we can finally acknowledge that the 95-91 overtime loss at home to Syracuse was an aberration for Duke. Since that stunning upset, the Blue Devils have rattled off seven straight wins, including a 72-70 home victory over then-No. 4 Virginia and, most recently, an 81-71 road triumph over then-No. 3 Virginia on Saturday. They haven’t dropped a true road game all season.

Buckets have been falling fast and frequently for the Blue Devils this year as they pour in 86.8 points per game for the No. 3 offense in college basketball. Their strength is inside the arc as they score the second-most points per game from two-point range and they have the third-best shooting percentage from that area at 59. Duke chips in 7.7 triples per game (172nd) and only shoots 32 percent from downtown overall (280th) but ranks 25th by shooting 38.8 percent from beyond the arc on the road.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Blue Devils give up 65.5 points per game to rate 37th in the NCAA but that climbs to 70.6 away from home. They surrender a ton of opportunities, ranking 336th by allowing 63.2 shots per game, but they combat those shots well. They are 10th in the country in restricting opponents to a measly 48.9 shooting percentage and allow the seventh-lowest two-point percentage at 43.2. Duke also grabs the second-most rebounds per game at 42.3.

Can the Cardinals split their recent rough schedule?

Louisville had a great run from mid-January into early February, rattling off six straight wins, including an 83-62 road win at then-No. 12 North Carolina to begin the stretch. However, the schedule makers were unkind to Louisville as it had four straight games against ranked foes as the schedule flipped to February and has dropped two of the first three, most recently falling 80-75 in overtime at then-No. 22 Florida State.

The offense hasn’t been much of an issue for the Cardinals this year, averaging 78.6 points per game for the No. 44 rating in the country. They do a lot of damage from downtown, taking 24.6 three-point attempts per game (81st) and shooting 36.5 percent (78th), with that percentage climbing to 41.7 in their last three games. Inside the arc, they rank 230th by netting 34.1 points per game from two-point range and hit 52.7 percent of their shots from that area of the court.

Louisville has been reliable defensively, giving up 68.5 points per game to rank 87th and yielding 67.2 ppg at home, but the Cardinals have surrendered 74.3 ppg over their last three contests. They restrict foes to a 41.3 shooting percentage overall (47th) and to 46.4 percent shooting from two-point range (37th) but rank 198th in opponent shots per game. An area of concern recently has been turnovers as the Cardinals have averaged 16.3 giveaways in their last three contests, which are the 26th-most over that span, including 23 in their last match. Duke creates the 21st-most takeaways this year.

Is an UNDER in store for tonight’s game?

We have two strong offensive and defensive teams tipping off and Bovada has tonight’s total opening at 151 points. Duke has gone UNDER in five of its last six contests with only two games going OVER 151 points, each with just 152 points, and an average combined score of 142.5.

Meanwhile, Louisville has gone UNDER in four of its last seven games, with only two games going OVER 151 points and an average combined score of 140.43. I think Duke is going to handcuff Louisville’s offense and I think the UNDER is the play to make.

My take on Duke vs Louisville

I like Duke to cover the 8-point spread. Duke is a perfect 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS in its five road games this season with an average winning margin of 14.2 and only one game being settled by fewer than two points – projected No. 1 NBA draft pick Zion Williamson was hurt in that game. Louisville does well from beyond the arc, but Duke restricts its opponents to 29.5 percent shooting from downtown, ranking 12th.

Additionally, the Blue Devils shoot 10 percentage points better from three-point range compared to their home play and the Cardinals rank 83rd in opponent three-point percentage at 32.4, which climbs to 35.2 at home. Meanwhile, Louisville ranks 135th in opponent points from two-point range at 34.6 and Duke sinks the second-most ppg from that area at 48.1. Lastly, the Cardinals have been turning the ball over a lot recently and the Blue Devils create the 21st-most turnovers per game.

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