Duke vs. Louisville Betting Line – Battle of the Top 6 Teams

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Duke vs. Louisville Betting Line – Battle of the Top 6 Teams

The Duke vs. Louisville betting line had the Cardinals as a -4 favorite.  Place your 1st bet and get your 2nd bet free.

Tip-off: Saturday, Noon ET

Sportsbook.ag Line: Louisville -4

No. 4 Duke looks to avoid its first three-game conference losing skid in eight years when it visits No. 6 Louisville on Saturday.

The Blue Devils (8-8 ATS) opened the season with 14 straight wins, but have been hammered during a two-game losing skid, falling by a combined 28 points to NC State and Miami teams that were getting a combined 24.5 points from the lines. The Wolfpack rolled them 87-75 on Sunday and the Hurricanes posted a 90-74 romp in Durham just two days later. Duke allowed both opponents to shoot at least 52% FG and 50% threes while its offense shot below 45% FG and 30% threes. This Blue Devils have not dropped three straight ACC games since the 2006-07 season.

The Cardinals (5-10-1 ATS) fell by one point at North Carolina on Saturday, but bounced back with a 78-63 home win versus 22-point underdog Virginia Tech on Tuesday. Duke is 6-1 SU (4-3 ATS) outside of Durham this season, but is a miserable 1-6 ATS with 3+ days of rest. Louisville is an atrocious 2-8-1 ATS at home this season and 2-5-1 ATS on 3+ days of rest. While the Blue Devils lead this all-time series 5-4, the Cardinals are 4-1 SU in the past five meetings, including an 85-63 blowout in the most recent matchup in the 2013 NCAA Tournament during the Elite Eight. Louisville also captured the 1986 NCAA Championship by beating Duke in the final game.

Despite Duke's recent losing skid, the team is still scoring 83.2 PPG on 50.2% FG (37.2% threes) with many more assists (16.1 APG) than turnovers (11.4 TOPG). Although they haven't shown it lately, this is still a quality defensive team with a +12.6 RPG margin helping limit opponents to 64.4 PPG on 42.8% FG and 30.6% threes.

Freshman C Jahlil Okafor (18.9 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 1.6 BPG) has done everything he can to keep his team in games, recording three straight double-doubles (16.7 PPG, 12.7 RPG) and leading the nation with a 66.8% FG clip. He has netted 20+ points in seven of the past 11 contests, where he is averaging 20.4 PPG on 70.2% FG.

Fellow freshman SF Justise Winslow (11.9 PPG, 4.8 RPG) had scored 9+ points in seven straight games before a miserable performance on Tuesday versus Miami when he netted only two points on 1-of-6 FG and 0-for-4 free throws.

The team's second-leading scorer is SG Quinn Cook (14.8 PPG, 3.1 APG) who is knocking down 41% threes this season and has scored at least 10 points in 15-of-16 games, including back-to-back performances of 18 points on 4-of-7 three-pointers. Although Cook made only 3-of-11 FG in the 2013 Elite Eight loss to Louisville, he still produced 12 points and five assists. SG Rasheed Sulaimon (8.1 PPG) was horrendous in that 22-point setback to the Cardinals two seasons ago with more fouls (five) than points (three), as he made just 1-of-10 FG (0-for-4 threes). But Sulaimon has scored in double-figures in four straight games, and has made 39% of his threes this season.

Louisville does not have nearly the same offensive firepower that Duke has, scoring 73.8 PPG on 43.5% FG and 30.4% threes with the same amount of turnovers (12.5 per game) as assists. But defensively, this team provides relentless pressure all over the floor, leading to 10.2 steals per game. The Cardinals also block 6.1 shots per contest, which helps limit opponents to 56.9 PPG on 36.5% FG and 29.5% threes and they usually dominate the glass with a +14.2 RPG margin.

Louisville has only four players that are dropping more than a dozen per contest. SG Terry Rozier (17.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 2.2 SPG) has been on a scoring binge recently with at least 15 points in 10 consecutive games, and should be able to expose the weak perimeter defense played by the Blue Devils during the losing skid.

C Montrezl Harrell (15.2 PPG, 8.9 RPG) must prepare for a fierce battle with Okafor down low. But the junior Harrell has the experience over the freshman, and shoots 58.4% FG. In just 24 minutes in Tuesday's win, Harrell scored 11 points with eight boards, three assists and three blocks. He has also done a great job staying out of foul trouble with three fouls or less in 10 consecutive games.

PG Chris Jones (12.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.7 APG, 2.2 SPG) has been relentless on defense in January with 10 steals in four games. After averaging 21.0 PPG (6-of-12 threes) in the first three contests of the month, Jones was more of a distributor on Tuesday with only seven points (3-of-7 FG), but 11 assists and just two turnovers.

Six-foot-5 swingman Wayne Blackshear (12.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.7 SPG) has the kind of well-rounded game that can give opponents fits, and after starting the month in a shooting funk (7-of-24 FG over three games), the senior made 6-of-10 shots in Tuesday's win, finishing with 15 points and six rebounds in just 24 minutes of action.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter


Basketball Odds News