Kansas got off to one type of hot start on Saturday, but the Jayhawks could only hold on to win by three in Kansas City. The tough backdoor loss continues the back and forth December where (as it is in gambling) I’m taking one step forward and 1.1 steps back. That’s why it pays to be the house! I’ll have to be a bit better than .500 going forward.
Monday’s free pick goes on in Durham, where Duke and Elon battle in a an in-state matchup of private, four-letter universities. This one shouldn’t be close. And the Phoenix are getting 32 points against the #2 team in the country.
So this game is a complete whitewash on paper. And it will certainly be a cupcake win for Duke on the floor. But that’s why we have a spread to worry about!
Elon has actually been kind of tough this year against larger programs. The Phoenix lost by 13 against Charlotte earlier this season and is coming off a five-point loss at Mizzou. The Tigers have lost quite a bit over the last three to four seasons when they were often nationally ranked. But Missouri still brings in top-tier talent in the country and plays super tough at home. Elon was led by Luke Eddy, who scored 27 points in his team’s respectable loss. Eddy tops the roster with 13.6 points per game in his sophomore season and brings a little scoring punch on the perimeter. But Elon does have three double-digit scorers, who will all need to chip in what they can for their team to stay within the number.
That’s because Duke comes in undefeated thanks, in large part, to a super trio of freshman: Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones. They all average double-figures, along with the Blue Devils’ senior point guard and captain Quinn Cook. There really isn’t a whole lot to say about Duke. Coach K’s team is better at every position, and will be for the entire game, no matter who is out there. The question is whether or not Duke will blow Elon out at Cameron Indoor. Just based on the small track record a month into the season, I’ll give Elon the benefit of the doubt as 32-point ‘dogs. Have fun.
Free Pick: Elon +32
2014 CBB: 6-6-1 +0.40