Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Duke Blue Devils - 11/19/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Duke Blue Devils (2-1) at Penn State Nittany Lions (2-1)
College Basketball: Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 12:30 pm (Mohegan Sun Arena)
The Line: Penn State Nittany Lions +18 -- Over/Under: 158 See the Latest Odds
The Penn State Nittany Lions and #1 ranked Duke Blue Devils face off in the semifinals of the Hall of Fame Tip-off Tournament at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
The Penn State Nittany Lions improved to 2-1 on the year following an 85-76 victory over the Grand Canyon Antelopes. Lamar Stevens led Penn State with 19 points on 7 of 16 from the floor, to go along with a perfect 5 for 5 mark from the foul line. Stevens ended up as one of 4 Nittany Lions in double figures on the night, with Payton Banks connecting on 5 of 7 field goal attempts, including 3 for 5 from downtown for 15 points. Shep Garner and Tony Carr joined the party, with Garner making 5 of 13 attempts including 3 of 8 from 3-point range for 14 points and Carr making 3 of 9 with a pair of 3s for 10 points on the night. Julian Moore may not have found himself in the scoring column with double digits, but he did log a team-high 9 rebounds in the win. As a team, Penn State is scoring 82.7 points per game, while shooting 45.8% from the floor, including 36.9% from 3-point range. Where Penn State is excelling is at the charity stripe, where the Nittany Lions are making 82% of their free throws, good for the 12th-best mark in the nation.
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The #1 ranked Duke Blue Devils fell to 2-1 following a 77-75 defeat at the hands of the #7 Kansas Jayhawks in the Champions Classic. Grayson Allen stumbled in the performance as he couldn’t find much consistency, connecting on just 4 of 15 shot attempts, including just 1 for 7 from downtown for 12 points on the night. Picking up the slack for Allen to keep Duke in the game was Luke Kennard, who made 7 of 10 shots including a pair of 3s and a perfect 6 for 6 from the foul line for 22 points to go along with 5 boards and 5 assists. Allen and Kennard were 2 of the 5 Blue Devils to finish with at least 10 points, as Amile Jefferson made 4 of 6 from the floor and 4 of 7 from the line for 12 points before fouling out of the game, while Matt Jones and Frank Jackson each put up 11 points on the night to round out the group. Jones connected on 4 of 7, including 3 of 5 from downtown while Jackson made just 3 of 5 including a pair of 3-pointers while making good on all 3 of his trips to the free throw line. As a team, Duke is putting up 88.3 points per game on 48.6% from the floor while shooting 38.6% from 3-point range. The lone Achilles heel for the Blue Devils, comes at the foul line where they are making just 69.4% of their free throws.
Penn State is 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Saturday games while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 games overall. Duke is 7-0 ATS in their last 7 vs. the Big Ten and 1-9 ATS in their last 10 neutral site games while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 games overall.
It’s hard to believe that in both programs storied histories, these two teams have never squared off. Without a doubt Penn State is overmatched by the Blue Devils, but 20 points? Duke is just coming off of a heartbreaking loss which has to affect their mindset at least a little bit, and they’re playing on a neutral site which hasn’t been kind to Duke, as they’ve covered just once in their last 10 neutral site games.
I’ll take a stab with Penn State and the points.