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VCU vs. Duke - 11/20/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

VCU Rams (2-0) vs. Duke Blue Devils (2-1)

College Basketball: Friday, November 20, 2015 at 7:30 pm (Madison Square Garden)

The Line: Duke -9.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN2

The Duke Blue Devils and VCU Rams play Thursday at Madison Square Garden in the 2K Classic.

The Duke Blue Devils hope for a nice bounce back win after losing to Kentucky. The Duke Blue Devils are averaging 89.3 points on 47.2 percent shooting and allowing 74.3 points on 45 percent shooting. Grayson Allen is averaging 20 points and three assists while Amile Jefferson is averaging 15.3 points and 12.7 rebounds. Matt Jones is dishing two assists and Marshall Plumlee is grabbing nine rebounds. The Duke Blue Devils are shooting 37.5 percent from deep and enters this game with four double-digit scorers. However, Duke has allowed 74 or more points in all three games this season and is allowing 44.2 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Duke needs to be more consistent on the defensive end in hopes of repeating. 

VCU vs. Duke - 11/20/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The VCU Rams look for a 3-0 start after wins over Prairie View A&M and Radford. The VCU Rams are averaging 83.5 points on 45 percent shooting and allowing 62 points on 38.9 percent shooting. Melvin Johnson is averaging 18.5 points and two assists while Korey Billbury is averaging 11 points and 6.5 rebounds. JeQuan Lewis is the third double-digit scorer and Mo Alie-Cox is grabbing 8.5 rebounds. The VCU Rams are shooting 42.6 percent from downtown and have eight players averaging at least six points. Defensively, VCU still plays that pressure defense that’s produced 30 steals and 11 blocks in the first two games. Of course, this will be the game that let’s the VCU Rams know exactly where they are without Shaka Smart.

The Blue Devils are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 games following a S.U. loss and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games. The Rams are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a S.U. win. 

Duke the more talented team, but VCU has a ton of experience and that pressure defense is sure to give the Blue Devils young players issues. I think this is going to be a hard played game on both sides and the value of the points should come in handy. 

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VCU Rams +9.5

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