The Blue Devils are set to travel to Indianapolis to play Kansas for their third match of the season Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. Ahead of the contest, the Blue Zone provides you with our can't-miss prop bets:
Duke (+1.5) vs. Kansas
While both the Blue Devils and the Jayhawks are top young teams with championship aspirations, Duke has what it takes to win this clash of blue bloods. Both sides blew out mid-major programs to open the season and are optimistic their top-ranked recruiting classes will be enough to help them win. A Champions Classic victory would provide a much-needed confidence boost for either crew, and the outcome will likely depend on clutch time performances.
If the game is close, the Blue Devils should prevail for three reasons. First, star freshman Dereck Lively II is likely to play a prominent role that adds to Duke’s already dominant frontcourt. After two games, the Blue Devils rank fifth nationally in offensive rebound percentage at 47.1%, and second-chance buckets could be the difference-maker this contest. Second, so far this season, the Jayhawks have connected on just 52.0% of free throws, while Duke has connected on 64.9%. Kansas' inconsistency from the charity stripe could hinder its ability to close out a tight game. Lastly, Kansas head coach Bill Self was suspended for imposing recruiting restrictions, a penalty that lasts through the first four games of the season. Without their head coach on the sidelines Tuesday night, the Jayhawks may struggle in crunch time.
Pick: Duke +1.5
Although both sides possess the talent to score big, it is early in the season and the teams both lack top-opponent experience, making the under a solid bet. In their first two games, the Blue Devils allowed a historically low 82 combined points and shot just 44.9% from the field. Duke enters the Kansas game ranked 147th nationally in scoring offense and first in scoring defense, setting the stage for a low point total. Kansas has been equally solid on both sides of the ball, however its lack of top-team experience so far will likely restrain the offensive dominance against a strong team like Duke. Slow starts from both sides are possible, and that might be enough to cap the game’s total score.
Pick: Under 144.5
Jeremy Roach over/under 14 points
In March, junior guard Jeremy Roach demonstrated his ability under pressure, averaging 12 points through the ACC and NCAA tournaments. This season, Roach is the clear-cut leader of a young Duke squad as the sole captain and returning top performer, and he will play an instrumental role in whether the Blue Devils start the season 3-0. In his first two starts of the year, Roach put up double-digits each time, and it's likely he will have a bigger output against Kansas. Expect him to be one of Duke’s top offense sources throughout the game and exceed his projected point total.
Pick: Over 14
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