Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#821 Columbia 134.5 vs.
#822 Duquesne -11.5
Monday, December 9, 2019 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Blake V.

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#821 Columbia University
#822 Duquesne University
3-7
7-0
13-11-2
14-17-1
15-11
18-13-1
73
73
73
72

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Duquesne will look to build on its impressive undefeated start to the season when it hosts Columbia on Monday night. The Dukes are off to a 7-0 start this year, picking up a win against VMI in its last game. The Lions are struggling, entering Monday’s game with a 3-7 record and a two-game losing streak.

Columbia looking to snap losing skid

Columbia has not had an ideal start to the 2019-20 season. The Lions lost to Lafayette and Wake Forest in their first two games, before picking up their first win of the season in a 12-point home victory against Binghampton. They followed that win with a three-game losing skid, falling to Virginia, St. John’s and Rider. The lone bright spot was a two-game winning streak after that stretch, beating Central Connecticut and Lehigh. However, they have lost their last two contests, getting beat by Delaware and Bryant.

The Lions are led by senior guard Mike Smith, who is the only player with big-time numbers on the roster. Smith is scoring 21.9 points per game and leads the way with 5.3 assists per game. He has been electric from beyond the 3-point line, making 27 of 60 attempts from downtown. Smith is also third on the team in rebounding with 4.6 per outing. The production really falls off behind Smith. Junior forward Randy Brumant and freshman guard Jack Forrest are tied for second on the team in scoring, despite only adding 8.1 points per game. Brumant is the team’s leading rebounder with 5.7 boards per contest.

Duquesne hoping to stay unbeaten

Duquesne has been perfect to open the season. The Dukes are 7-0, picking up wins against Princeton, Lamar, Lipscomb, Indiana State, Air Force, LMU and VMI. Their most recent win was a 71-58 victory against VMI. Duquesne limited VMI to a 10 of 35 effort from beyond the 3-point line, while cashing in on 13 of their 15 free throw attempts. The Dukes are scoring 71.9 points per game while holding opponents to 57.3 points per game. Their perimeter defense has been particularly outstanding, only allowing opponents to shoot at a 25 percent clip from beyond the arc.

The Dukes boast an extremely balanced lineup, with five players averaging at least 9.0 points per game. Sophomore guard Sincere Carry is leading the way with 13.0 points per game, 4.9 assists per game and 3.6 rebounds per game. Junior center Michael Hughes is second on the team in scoring with 11.4 points per game, while also ranking second with 6.7 rebounds per outing. Senior center Baylee Steele is the second-string center, scoring 11.3 points per game off the bench. Freshman guard Maceo Austin is making an immediate impact, scoring 9.4 points per game. Junior forward Marcus Weathers is adding 9.0 points per game and leads the team with 7.6 rebounds per contest.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Rating:

Duquesne is a solid team on both ends of the court, ranking No. 78 in KenPom’s overall rankings. Columbia’s poor start to the season shows up in its ranking, coming in at No. 188. I think the Dukes are a really bad matchup for the Lions. Duquesne has one of the most balanced scoring lineups in the country, which means it is easy for them to win games if one or two players have off nights. Columbia relies entirely on Mike Smith, which can lead to some wins and many losses. I like the Dukes chances against Smith and Columbia in this game, which will move them to 8-0 on the season.

Prediction: Duquesne -11

Full-Game Total Pick

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Rating:

Columbia is going to have trouble scoring in this game. The Lions enter Monday’s contest with the No. 229 ranked offense, according to KenPom. Not only does the offense struggle, but it relies on one player to get the job done every night. Meanwhile, their defense is not horrible, coming in at No. 152. Both teams look to slow the pace of the game down and bleed the clock in the half court. Duquesne is No. 57 in adjusted defense and No. 250 in adjusted tempo. This matchup is tailor-made for the under. The total has gone under in seven of Columbia’s last 10 games, and I expect that to continue in this one.

Prediction: Under 132.5
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Written By Blake V.

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.