With Duke starting off its NCAA tournament Friday against Cal State Fullerton in Greenville, S.C., the Blue Zone has you covered with some can't-miss prop bets:
Duke (-18.5) vs. Cal State Fullerton
Duke has what it takes to beat Cal State Fullerton, as it has defeated teams of its caliber plenty of times throughout both nonconference and conference play with relative ease. With proof of a roaring offense and an unrelenting defense this season, it’s evident that the Blue Devils can come away with the win Friday when they take on the Titans. However, despite whether Duke is at its best or not, the result isn’t always a victory.
Don’t forget that the two teams are playing in the NCAA tournament, and a loss means an instant elimination. With a chance to keep their season alive on the line, expect the Titans to play the toughest they have all season, especially as they take on a No. 2 seed. Duke should take over in the opening minutes, but Cal State Fullerton will do its best to give the No. 9-ranked team in the country a run for its money. With that in mind, a victory of more than 19 points is not too likely, even as the Blue Devils should take care of business Friday.
Pick: Cal State Fullerton +18.5
Over/under 145 points
As the higher seed in this matchup, the Blue Devils should lead this game from start to finish. The ball is in Duke's court, and with that, it should plan to play a highly-competitive game to both advance and prepare for the later rounds of the tournament. In the Blue Devils' last six games, the group and their opponents have combined for more than 149 points all but one time. With the stats to back up this pick, there's plenty to like about the over.
Pick: Over 145
Wendell Moore Jr. over/under 15 points
As a captain and one of Duke’s star players, junior forward Wendell Moore Jr. knows when to shine, and the beauty of his playing ability is that he provides when needed, not just when trying to get points on the board. The Blue Devils may be favored to win their game against the Titans, but that doesn’t mean that every player needs to contribute a big scoring performance Friday.
In Duke’s most recent contests, it has consistently seen serious scoring numbers from freshman forward Paolo Banchero and sophomore center Mark Williams. On the other hand, Moore has remained stringent on defense and as a playmaker for his squad. Like a true captain, he shoots and scores when his team needs him to, and his playing style is arguably the most unselfish of any Blue Devil. With a projected victory on the horizon, a big day from Moore is not what Duke needs. Though it’s likely he scores double-digit points, numbers higher than 15 are not in the cards as much for him Friday.
Pick: Under 15 points
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Ana Young is a Trinity sophomore and an assistant Blue Zone editor of The Chronicle’s 118th volume.