Duke Blue Devils vs. Grand Canyon Antelopes - 11/12/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Grand Canyon Antelopes (0-0) at Duke Blue Devils (1-0)
College Basketball: Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 5:30 pm (Cameron Indoor Stadium)
The Line: Duke Blue Devils -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Grand Canyon Antelopes look to log an early candidate for upset of the year as they take on the top ranked Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The Grand Canyon Antelopes enter their 4th season of D-I men’s basketball with 3 straight .500 or better records that was capped off with a spectacular 27-7 2015-16 campaign that saw GCU finish 11-3, good for the 2nd best conference record in the WAC. However as Grand Canyon is now in the 4th year of the 4-year transition period from D-II to D-I, this will be the last season that the Antelopes will be ineligible for the WAC tournament, NIT or the NCAA tournament. Grand Canyon did however receive an invitation to the CollegeInsider.com tournament where they defeated South Carolina State and Jackson State before falling to Coastal Carolina in the finals. The biggest hurdle that coach Dan Majerle will face in his 4th year as GCU head coach is filling in the holes left by his 8 departing players from last year’s team, including 6 graduates and a pair of transfers. Majerle will however retain the services of leading scorer, WAC preseason player of the year, sophomore guard Joshua Braun, who logged 16.6 points and 5.2 rebounds last season for GCU. There is plenty to look forward to for GCU faithful as the Antelopes were edged out my just one point in the WAC preseason poll for the projected top spot by New Mexico State.
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The Duke Blue Devils enter this game as the top ranked college basketball team in the country and for good reason. Duke is coming off of a subpar 2015-16 season by their standards only one year after the Blue Devils won their 5th national championship. Duke finished 25-11, 11-7 in the ACC which left them 5th heading into the ACC tournament where they fell in the quarterfinals to Notre Dame. Duke ended up in March Madness as a #4 seed where they reached the sweet sixteen before falling to the top-seeded Oregon Ducks by a final score of 82-68. Duke and Coach K will be returning 3 starters as Brandon Ingram declared for the NBA draft where he was selected 2nd overall by the Los Angeles Lakers and Marshall Plumlee graduated. The Dukies always have a plan however, as they managed to haul in the 2nd best recruiting class according to ESPN, including 5-star prospects Jayson Tatum, Frank Jackson, Harry Giles III and Marques Bolden. Leading scorer Grayson Allen also returns to the fold a year after leading the Blue Devils with 21.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. It also comes as no surprise that Duke is the early favorite to win the ACC as the Blue Devils received 85 of the 91 first place votes in this year’s ACC preseason poll.
Grand Canyon is 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall and 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 non-conference games. Duke is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games and 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games overall while the over is 5-2 in their last 7 non-conference games.
As much of a feel good story as GCU has become, I can’t go against Duke. This is the best Blue Devils team we have seen in years, and I’m afraid GCU is just going to be a warmup for Duke. However there is no line out for this game as of yet, so please check back when it has been released for my free pick.