James Madison Dukes vs. Virginia Cavaliers - 11/14/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Virginia Cavaliers (30-7) at James Madison Dukes (11-20)
College Basketball: Friday, November 14, 2014 at 7:00 pm (JMU Center)
The Line: James Madison Dukes +14 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The James Madison Dukes look for the season opening upset of defending ACC champion the Virginia Cavaliers.
The Virginia Cavaliers enjoyed a 30 win season a year ago with a 16-2 record in the tough ACC and that includes winning the conference tournament as well. Going 16-2 in the conference isn't going to happen this year especially with Joe Harris taking 12 points and invaluable experience and leadership with him. The Cavaliers do have plenty of talent coming back but I think head cach Tony Bennett is the catalyst that will drive the success of this team. Bennett will have this team playing airtight defense which will take the pressure off of all conference guard Malcolm Brogdon who averaged almost 13 points. This team is loaded with guys that can approach DD in scoring and if a few such as forward Anthony Gill (8 ppg) can increase their production UVA will be in great shape.
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The Colonial Athletic has undergone a slew of changes from last season. A few new teams joined the conference and the top squads lost enough talent to drop to the middle of the league or lower. Where does that leave James Madison who was just 6-10 in the conference and lost 20 games? Perhaps it's an opportunity to move up the standings or maybe it means nothing with only two starters coming back although both were solid contributors. Preseason all conference selection Andre Nation led the team with 15 points with Ron Curry joining him in the backcourt with 12 points to give the Dukes one of the better backcourt combos in the conference. An interesting addition is JC transfer Winston Grays who averaged 20 points at Cincinnati State which earned the guard 1st team All American honors.
UVA are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 Fri. games and are 18-6-2 ATS in their last 26 games overall while going 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 road games. James Madison is 2-9 ATS in their last 11 home games and are 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 games overall. James Madison is something of a mystery especially in the frontcourt while the Cavaliers are also something of an unknown until we see their frontcourt as well. I'll side with the Cav's defense for now until I see how this team comes together...