College Basketball Betting Preview: Duke Blue Devils at Louisville Cardinals – Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021

The Duke Blue Devils will hit the road for an ACC conference matchup with the Louisville Cardinals on Saturday. Coach K’s group has lost consecutive games and finds themselves at a surprisingly underwhelming 5-4 on the season. Duke has managed a 3-2 record in league play thus far.

Louisville is coming off of a couple of tough losses against Miami and Florida State but optimism remains high in the Cardinals’ locker room.

The game is scheduled for a 4:00 PM EST tip off with Louisville as the 3-point home favorite and the total being set at 141 points.

Louisville is currently grounded

The Cardinals entered the season as a darkhorse selection to win the league and lived up to those expectations early on. In recent weeks they have suffered a surprising loss to Miami who was playing without Chris Lykes before returning home to drop a game to a red-hot Florida State team.

The most disturbing trend from their two most recent games is the surrendering of the three-point line by the Cardinals. Louisville has held opponents to under 33% from behind the arc on the season but opponents have shot 17-41 from deep in the last two games.

Louisville will once again be without their core front court players in Aiden Igiehon and Malik Williams but look for Charles Minlend to potentially make an appearance. The Cardinals are just 5-7 against the spread on the season and a disappointing 2-5 ATS at the KFC YUM! Center. The total has gone over in seven of their 12 games on the season.

Unfamiliar territory for the Blue Devils

While the Duke program has survived under the roster flipping “one and done” model for years, this seasons team has struggled with chemistry issues and a commitment to team defense. The Blue Devils boast a ton of individual talent but it just doesn’t seem to come together on the court as it has in season’s passed.

The return of Jalen Johnson was anticipated to be the turning point for Coach K’s All-Star team but the Devils still fell short against a surprising Pittsburgh team on Tuesday evening. Johnson managed 33 minutes in his second game back and flirted with a triple-double before eventually fouling out against the Panthers. Despite the tremendous effort, Duke still couldn’t get over the hump.

Duke is a mind blowing 1-8 against the spread on the season though the single win did come in one of their three road games. The total has gone under in two of their three road games this season.

Duke at Louisville (-3) Total: 141

Bovada has Louisville as the 3-point favorite at home after opening at -1. The total has also grown by a couple of points to settle at 141. Louisville is juiced at -160 on the moneyline while Duke is currently +140 straight up.

The Pick

Given their level of talent, you have to expect the Blue Devils to eventually put it together. The question is do we expect a team of true freshmen to accomplish that on the road? Louisville’s shortcomings on the defensive end recently should push you towards taking the underdog here. DJ Steward, Jeremy Roach, and Matthew Hurt all have the ability to get red hot from deep and exploit that Louisville defense. Take the plus money and go Duke moneyline along with the over.

Spooky Express Free Play – Duke +140 ML

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