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Duke Blue Devils vs. Davidson Wildcats Pick-Odds-Prediction 11/8/13

Davidson Wildcats (26-8) at Duke Blue Devils (30-6)

NCAAB Basketball: Friday, November 8, 2013 at 7:00 pm (Cameron Indoor Stadium)

The Line: Duke Blue Devils -16 -- Over/Under: 149 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPNU

The Duke Blue Devils host the Davidson Wildcats to start the 2013-14 college basketball season at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The No. 4 Blue Devils enter as the preseason favorites in the ACC once again, and they’re a popular pick to reach their 12th Final Four under Coach Krzyzewski as they open their season by hosting Davidson on Friday night. A program that usually depends on seniors will now count on redshirt sophomore Rodney Hood and freshman star Jabari Parker. The upperclassman will have to get comfortable in their supporting roles around Hood and Parker, one of the nation’s most heavily pursued recruits out of Chicago. Hood sat out last season after transferring from Mississippi State, where he averaged 10.3 points and 4.8 rebounds. Hood plays like a shooting guard on offense and forward on defense, and the 6-foot-8 Parker is capable of playing multiple positions for the Blue Devils. Tyler Thornton and Josh Hairston, who will not play in the opener, have been great role players throughout their Duke careers. Forward Amile Jefferson should have a big year as teams pay more attention to Hood and Parker. The only current Duke player who has a national championship ring is Andre Dawkins, who is a fifth-year senior guard who sat out last season.

Duke Blue Devils vs. Davidson Wildcats Pick-Odds-Prediction 11/8/13

Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

The Davidson Wildcats went 26-8 and won the Southern Conference last season before losing 59-58 in thrilling fashion to Marquette in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Davidson had led by 9 points late in the second half but couldn’t hold on as its 17-game winning streak came to end, which at the time was the longest in the country. Davidson has lost C Jake Cohen, their conference’s reigning player of the year and Nik Cochran, who was the nation’s top true shooting percentage last year. However, the Wildcats have plenty of talent that still remains and new talent that has arrived. De’Mon Brooks will be the first option for coach Bob McKillop, after taking a back seat to Cohen last year. Senior Chris Czerapowicz was deadly from long range last year and his turnover rate was just 7.7, which ranked sixth in the nation. Freshman Jack Gibbs, the Gatorade player of the year in Ohio last season, and Andrew McAuliffe will make an immediate impact for the Wildcats this season.

Duke has had little trouble with Davidson, dominating a series that began in 1909 by winning the last 24 matchups. The Blue Devils won the last meeting 67-50 back in January on a neutral court in Charlotte, N.C. I think it will take Davidson a little bit of time to get some team chemistry after losing some good players. Duke has lost some players too, but they will be ready to put on a show opening night at home. I’ll take the Blue Devils to win by 20.

Duke -16

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