Prop bets for Duke men's basketball vs. Bellarmine

Jeremy Roach is averaging 1.3 steals per game.
Jeremy Roach is averaging 1.3 steals per game.

Before heading to Portland, Ore., later this week, the Blue Devils have a matchup at home against Bellarmine Monday night. Ahead of the 8:30 p.m. tipoff, the Blue Zone provides you with our can't-miss prop bets: 

Duke (-22.5) vs. Bellarmine

Duke's matchup with Bellarmine marks its fifth of a long season, and given that the team has routed all three of its mid-major opponents thus far, it will be looking for its fourth. Ahead of a tournament in which the Blue Devils will battle Power Five conference opponents and potentially go head-to-head with Gonzaga, they need to prove their offensive prowess, and that is exactly what they plan to do against Bellarmine. The Knights may have some tricks up their sleeve in store for this young Duke squad, however. This season has already been full of upsets, and Bellarmine was a part of one of them already. When the Knights traveled to the KFC Yum! Center to open their season, the odds were -7.5 points in Louisville's favor, but Bellarmine was aggressive on the floor and won the contest through a first-half advantage. 

While the Cardinals have been struggling this season with a 0-3 record, the Knights also came close against Clemson, falling by 10 points and proving that they can compete with ACC competition. Though this Blue Devil team has enough talent in its favor that it should take the game, if the contest begins similarly to how it has in recent games, Bellarmine may be able to slip within reach of Duke's advantage of the spread. While that likely won't mean a win, a 22.5-point advantage seems a little too optimistic. Expect it to be closer to the 18-20 point range.

Pick: Bellarmine +22.5

Over/Under 140.5 total points

Duke has kept below the under in three of its four games so far, with the only exception being its 34-point victory against Delaware Friday night on a 142.5-point cover. Also, given that the Blue Hens haven't had any serious victories yet this season, it makes sense that Duke was capable of putting a lot of points on the board against them, as Delaware lacked the defensive expertise it needed to remain competitive. Monday's contest also marks Bellarmine's largest over/under this season, surpassing the 132.5 and 136 it has been predicted in its past three games. Two of those games resulted in the under, and the third and most recent against Clemson was 9.5 points ahead of the over. I don't think the Knights will lead the night by any means, and I think that will mean Duke controls the scoreboard. If the Blue Devils remain consistent to their scoring habits and stay defensively astute, expect a total score under the cover.

Pick: Under 140.5

Jeremy Roach over/under one steal

Jeremy Roach has certainly lived up to his guard title this season, averaging 1.3 steals and 2.7 rebounds through Duke's four games. His only game so far without a steal was in the team's season-opener against Jacksonville, but he has gotten two steals on two occasions. If the Knights play as competitively as they have against their other ACC opponents so far, look for Roach to continue to lead the backcourt, and that will mean one steal—or more.

Pick: Over one steal


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