Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#743 Colorado State vs.
#744 Duke
Friday, November 8, 2019 at 7:00pm EST
Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham
Written by Chris Kubala

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#743 Colorado State University
#744 Duke University
1-0
1-0
15-15-1
18-20
16-15
11-26-1
74
82
75
67

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It’s a matchup on the college hardwood when the Mountain West Conference travels to battle one of the ACC’s elite on Tobacco Road. The Colorado State Rams are on the road as they make the cross-country trip to face the #4 Duke Blue Devils Friday night. Colorado State opened their season with a 74-63 home win over Denver Tuesday night in their last game. Duke edged #3 Kansas in the State Farm Champions Classic in the Big Apple Tuesday night in their season-opening contest. The Blue Devils have won both previous meetings between the teams, including an 87-64 victory at home in the most recent matchup on December 7, 2011.

Colorado State Rams Hope to Spring Upset on the Road

Colorado State struggled in Niko Medved’s first year as the head coach of the program, finishing the year 12-20 overall and 7-11 in the Mountain West. The Rams have to be happy that they opened this season on a positive note: it will be a much tougher challenge in this contest. Colorado State was tied at seven just over three minutes into the game before reeling off a 21-6 run to seize control of the game. The Rams led by eight at the half and saw their lead trimmed to four at 41-37 with 15:52 to play before regrouping. A 10-0 run over the next three minutes put them up 14 and they weren’t seriously threatened again.

The Rams shot 46 percent from the field, including seven of 23 from three-point range, and drained 21 of 26 free throws in the game. For good measure, Colorado State won the rebounding battle 35-30 and forced 14 turnovers. Kris Martin led the Rams with 18 points in the victory as one of four players in double figures. Adam Thistlewood chipped in 15 points and nine rebounds while Nico Carvacho posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds in the game. Hyron Edwards added 10 points off the bench in the victory.

Duke Blue Devils Look to Open Home Slate With Victory

Duke lost a trio of lottery picks to the NBA draft after last season but, as has been the trend for what seems like forever, the team reloaded and looks to be a force again. The Blue Devils were involved in a back and forth game with Kansas that went down to the wire. As it turned out, the game wouldn’t be decided until the final horn. Duke led by three at the half and 37-32 with 18:19 to play before going cold. The Blue Devils coughed up a 14-0 run to trail by nine with 14:35 to go before getting back on track. Duke regained the lead with just over nine minutes to play before a back and forth run that saw the teams trade the lead over the next several minutes. Leading by one in the final minute, the Blue Devils hit four of four free throws that helped them withstand a last-second three by Kansas and seal the win.

The Blue Devils shot only 35.9 percent from the field, including eight of 24 from three-point range, and overcame missing nine of their 23 free throw attempts. Duke lost the rebounding battle 40-30 and turned the ball over 16 times: they did capitalize by forcing 28 turnovers by the Jayhawks. Kansas helped Duke’s cause by missing 10 of their 26 free throw attempts. Tre Jones led the Blue Devils with 15 points, six rebounds and seven assists in the victory. Cassius Stanley finished with 13 points (11 in the second half) while Vernon Carey Jr. and Matthew Hurt each added 11 points in the win. It will be interesting to see how Coach K divvies up the minutes in his rotation in these early season contests leading into conference play.

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Colorado State may have won their season opener for the 12th straight season but itโ€™s going to be an uphill climb in this one. The Rams have a couple of veteran presences in Carvacho and Thistlewood yet theyโ€™re going on the road to face a top-five opponent. Duke is the same thing every year: they win 28 to 32 games, make a solid run in the NCAA Tournament, see some guys declare for the draft early and then have to reload for the new season. Itโ€™s rinse, lather, repeat for the Blue Devils. Playing at home is a good thing for these young guys after their big game win in the Big Apple. Duke has too much talent and too much leadership to fall short here. The Blue Devils win convincingly to run their mark to 2-0.

Prediction: Duke Blue Devils -23.5

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Colorado State had a decent offensive showing in their opener but they are facing an ACC powerhouse as opposed to a Summit League middle of the pack team. The Rams were 267th in the nation in scoring defense last year and now has to go on the road to contend with a new-look Duke team that is ready to compete again. Duke had their battle with #3 Kansas but showed a ton of defensive presence by forcing 28 turnovers in the game. The Blue Devils will have a better chance at converting those turnovers into points here: will it be enough to elevate over the number?

The under is 6-1 in the Rams' last seven overall, 5-1 in their last six on the road, 4-1 in their last five non-conference games and 4-1 in their last five after a straight up win. Duke has seen the under go 4-0 in their last four against Mountain West opponents, 13-2-1 in their last 16 non-conference games and 19-6-2 in their last 27 after an ATS win. The Blue Devils are going to be amped up at home and they'll make life tough for Colorado State on the offensive end. Duke should rack up their share of points but this one ends up under the number.

Prediction: Under 146
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chrisโ€™ content daily.