The Duke Blue Devils are 18-2 SU and 11-9 ATS in their last 20 games played in the month of November. The Blue Devils will be looking for another November win Tuesday night when they take on the Kentucky Wildcats in the season opener for both teams at Madison Square Garden.
Opening Odds Analysis
The Blue Devils opened as 1-point favorites in New York and have received enough betting action to bump the line up to Duke -3. The total has settled in at 148.5 points since opening at 147.5 points. The OVER is 9-3 in Duke’s last 12 games.
Kentucky News & Notes
Kentucky had an uncharacteristically terrible season in 2020-21, compiling a record of 9-16 SU and 8-16-1 ATS after going no worse than 21-12 SU in its previous 11 seasons under head coach John Calipari.
But in today’s college basketball climate where rosters are quickly made over with new elite talent, Kentucky is expected to bounce back right away this season with a No. 10 ranking in the AP Top 25 poll.
Calipari has retooled his team with four Division 1 transfers and three top-40 prospects. The most highly anticipated of these newcomers is freshman point guard TyTy Washington, who scored 18 points with two assists and two steals in Kentucky’s preseason win over Kentucky Wesleyan.
The Wildcats are hoping that a more normal summer of team-building will lead to a much better product on the court in 2021-22.
Duke News & Notes
Paolo Banchero is on a short list of players with a legitimate shot at being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. With all three of Duke’s top scorers from last year now off the team, Banchero will be the top scoring threat on this squad from opening night on and should have a dominant season as a versatile forward with excellent instincts in both shooting and playmaking.
Banchero will be joined by two other top-25 recruits in forward AJ Griffin and guard Trevor Keels. The Blue Devils also return some strong talent from last year’s squad, which like Kentucky had a down year to the tune of a 13-11 SU and 9-15 ATS record.
In what will be the final season of head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s storied career, the pressure will be on this group to make this year a memorable one.
How Kentucky Will Cover
John Calipari opted to bring in a handful of transfers as well as top recruits this season. That built-in experience could help Kentucky to avoid growing pains early in the year and lead to a win in this seemingly evenly matched game.
How Duke Will Cover
Paulo Banchero should be the best player on the court in this matchup. If he lives up to his hype and plays to his potential, he could be the type of game-breaking star that puts his team over the top in big games against ranked opponents like this one.
Computer Pick: Kentucky +2.5
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Odds Shark Staff Fri, Sep 16, 2:48pm