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VCU vs. Duke Betting Line

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Nov/20/2015
VCU vs. Duke Betting Line

Carrie Stroup here with your VCU vs. Duke betting line for Friday night’s College Baseball wagering.

VCU RAMS (2-0) vs. DUKE BLUE DEVILS (2-1)

Sportsbook.ag Line: Duke -10, Total: 155

No. 5 Duke looks to bounce back from Tuesday’s defeat to No. 2 Kentucky when it takes on VCU in the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden on Friday night.

Fresh on the heels of being smothered at the hands of Kentucky’s defense, the letters V-C-U may not be the most welcome sight to Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. Those letters bring back ghosts of their own, like former Rams guard Eric Maynor stunning the Blue Devils in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2007. In the present, though, it means the young Blue Devils will have to fight their way through another relentless, attacking, athletic squad – albeit not with the pedigree of Kentucky.

For the Rams, new coach Will Wade, he of all of his 32 years, will take his Shaka Smart-esque “Chaos” and try to match wits with the Hall of Famer manning the other bench. VCU, 2-0 on the season, has continued in former coach Smart’s ways, which is how Wade (a former assistant of Smart’s) would like it to be. The Rams still get up and down and score, outrebound their opponents, and force turnovers, all while playing a deep rotation. They handily dispatched of a Radford team on Monday that previously defeated Georgetown.

Duke is 0-2 ATS this season, losing by 11 when giving one point versus Kentucky, and failing to cover in an 18-point victory over Siena. The defending National Champion Blue Devils were 25-14 ATS last season, meanwhile, VCU only managed a 15-20 ATS mark. Duke has gotten a chance to avenge that 2007 NCAA Tournament defeat versus VCU, oddly enough also as the No. 5 team in the nation against an unranked VCU squad…this all being in 2012. Duke won, 67-58 in that contest, covering the 6.5 point spread.

When the Blue Devils defeated VCU in 2012, they beat VCU’s press by utilizing now-departed big men Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee. The same can happen Friday, as Duke’s experience lies in the frontcourt with Mason’s brother, F Marshall Plumlee (8.0 PPG, 9.0 RPG), who put up a double-double versus Kentucky, and F Amile Jefferson (15.3 PPG, 12.7 RPG, 73% FG) who has tallied a double-double in all three of Duke’s games this season.

As ballyhooed as Duke’s freshman class was, and as spectacular as sophomore G Grayson Allen (20.0 PPG, 3.0 APG) can be, they came up woefully short against their first stiff foe on Tuesday night. Allen’s chops at point guard were severely tested in his 6-point, 4-turnover evening. It will be interesting to see if he can bounce back against 40 minutes of a full-court press.

Duke will need frosh F Brandon Ingram (13.3 PPG) to also have a short memory from Tuesday night, where Ingram sputtered to a 4-point, 4-turnover evening against Kentucky’s length and strength. Ingram could find more openings to slash to the rim and/or show off his jumper if Allen and company can hang on to the ball and beat VCU in a half-court game, where its offensive skill and size can truly shine. Breaking down the VCU press will also undoubtedly create open shots for G Matt Jones (15.0 PPG), who is 9-of-16 so far in 2015 from beyond the arc.

For VCU to have a chance to put a two-game losing skid on the Blue Devils, it will have to maintain its rebounding edge against the biggest skilled team it will face all season. Being on the better side of the rebounding margin is always something you aim for, but look for the Rams to try and get tip-outs to start their running game. With VCU's three leading rebounders, F Mo-Allie Cox (7.5 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 2.5 BPG), F Justin Tillman (6.0 PPG, 7.5 RPG), and G Korey Billbury (11.0 PPG, 6.5 RPG) all standing shorter than 6-foot-8, these three will need to make sure every 50/50 ball is theirs.

Helping with the lack of size up front is the full-court disruption of the backcourt pressure supplied by G Melvin Johnson (18.5 PPG, 3.0 SPG) and G JeQuan Lewis (10.5 PPG, 3.0 SPG). Johnson is the main scoring threat, burying 4.5 threes per game, while Lewis leads the Rams with 7.5 assists per contest. Billbury is a graduate transfer from Oral Roberts and former all-conference player who is getting an opportunity to show off on a bigger stage. Overall, VCU has nine players averaging more than 10 minutes per game, and in this respect, should be able to wear down the Blue Devils, especially their thin backcourt that lacks a true point guard. 

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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