January 18, 2014

Basketball Pick: North Carolina State vs. Duke

Matchup: North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. Duke Blue Devils

Date/Time: January 18th, 2:00 ET

Television: CBS

College Basketball Odds from WagerWeb

Point Spread: Off

Total: Off

It’s an in-state ACC match-up in college basketball betting action when the Duke Blue Devils play host to the North Carolina State Wolfpack on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. ET live on CBS.

The Wolfpack come into this game losers of their last two conference games. Wednesday night, the Wolfpack dropped a heartbreaker on the road at Wake Forest 70-69. F T.J. Warren scored 22 points for N.C. State before fouling out with 2:47 remaining in the game. The Wolfpack took the loss, but covered for the third time in their last four road games. The kids from Raleigh haven’t had any luck at home either as they were blown out by the Virginia Cavaliers and Pittsburgh Panthers to start their conference schedule. N.C. State got off to a slow start in its last meeting with Duke as the Blue Devils jumped out to a 58-37 lead at halftime before defeating the Wolfpack 98-85 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Warren averages 22.2 points per game and will need to be a big part of the attack if the Wolfpack is to keep this one close. N.C. State could also use a solid defensive effort from C Jordan Vandenberg who averages 2.2 blocks and 5.4 rebounds per game. At 7’1″, Vandenberg could pose problems for Duke on the inside if he is able to stay out of foul trouble.

Duke has struggled to find consistency early in the season as they suffered uncharacteristic losses to the Clemson Tigers and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Blue Devils survived a threat from the Virginia Cavaliers in Monday night’s 69-65 win. Sophomore G Rasheed Sulaimon came off the bench to bounce in the go-ahead three pointer late as part of his 21 point performance in the win over Virginia to keep the Blue Devils from falling under .500 in conference play. Ranked No. 23, Duke is 5-5 ATS in its last 10 games including failing to cover a six-point spread Monday. Freshman F Jabari Parker was held to just eight points in the game, well under his 18.8 season average. The Blue Devils will need a big performance from him in this one to take down the Wolfpack. Parker’s running mate F Rodney Hood will also need to get it going for head coach Mike Krzyzewski who has to be frustrated with his squad’s slow start. Duke is flirting with being unranked for the first time since the 2006-07 campaign so there’s plenty of motivation to get a win at home on Saturday.
Prediction:

While Duke’s struggles are well documented so far this season, it seems N.C. State has even bigger problems competing in games against strong basketball teams. A trip to Cameron Indoor Stadium couldn’t be coming at a worse time for the Wolfpack who are fresh off a last-second loss. We expect the Blue Devils to avoid the unthinkable of being unranked and get a win handily over the Wolfpack on their home floor. Duke 85 – North Carolina State 71

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Adam Markowitz

is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.

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