The Powerhouses Prepare to Battle it Out

This is a game you are not going to want to miss.

The Duke Blue Devils and the Kentucky Wildcats will face off at Madison Square Garden in New York on Tuesday, November 9 at 9:30 PM EST to kick off the 2021-2022 college basketball season. While the game itself is projected to be a terrific and attention-catching affair, the top story is that it represents the final season debut for legendary Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski as he enters his last year coaching the Blue Devils. 

Krzyzewski has led teams to championships, coached a myriad of basketball legends, and earned the respect of those around him. He will be remembered as one of the greatest basketball minds of all time. But his career is not over yet, as he could add another memorable chapter to his already outstanding resume this season. 

These are two historic college basketball programs, and there could not be a better matchup to get the college basketball season underway. While both schools underperformed last year, they will look to bounce back and begin the 2021-2022 campaign on the right foot. 

BETTING ANALYSIS for BLUE DEVILS and WILDCATS

DUKE BLUE DEVILS BETTING STATS & ANALYSIS

Duke enters the 2021-2022 season with more motivation than they have had in season’s past. In addition to head coach Mike Krzyzewski announcing this would be his final season, the Blue Devils missed the NCAA tournament last year for the first time since 1995. This is a dominant program, and they expect to climb back into contention once again. 

And they are not just sitting back and hoping talent comes knocking at the door. As always, Duke displayed top-notch recruiting, including landing a top-five ranked recruit named Paolo Banchero. Banchero is a 6’10 big man with plenty of scoring ability and a knack for grabbing rebounds and protecting the rim. 

With plenty of talent around the star freshman, Duke is feeling confident heading into Opening Night. They are ranked no. 9 heading into the year, but a win against Kentucky would send their trajectory trending in the correct direction. 

The only Blue Devil injury to note is A.J. Griffin, but he is listed as probable and should be on the court Tuesday night, barring unforeseen circumstances. 

KENTUCKY WILDCATS BETTING STATS & ANALYSIS

Kentucky also struggled last year, but they made Duke’s overall finish look not all that bad. The Wildcats finished with a dreadful 9-16 record in a season they are happy to leave in the rearview. And after adding several reinforcements through the recruitment and transfer process, they also have high expectations for 2021-2022. 

The Wildcats have some holes on defense, but they have an offense that knows how to score at will. However, it won’t matter how many points they score if they can’t contain Paolo Banchero. His 6’10 height and the bulky frame are bound to cause problems for the Kentucky defense.

From an offense perspective, the Wildcats feature a strong backcourt with players who can shoot from beyond the arc while making plays for their teammates. 

DUKE BLUE DEVILS vs KENTUCKY WILDCATS NCAABB BETTING TRENDS

Kentucky is 13-3-2 ATS in neutral sites as an underdog over their last 18 games. However, following the disappointing season from a year ago, they are 5-15-2 ATS throughout their past 22 games. 

Duke has tended to be consistent against the spread as of late, as the Blue Devils are 5-1 ATS in their last six games as a favorite. They are also 4-1 ATS through their last five games at neutral sites. 

While these stats are somewhat helpful, it should be remembered that both of these rosters look slightly different than last year. 

DUKE BLUE DEVILS vs KENTUCKY WILDCATS NCAABB BETTING ODDS

According to BetUS, Duke enters as 1 point favorite over the Wildcats. BetUS sets the total at 1481/2.

Betonline echoes a similar sentiment as they also have Duke listed as 1 point favorites and have the total at 1481/2. 

The experts all seem to expect this game to come down to the wire in New York on Tuesday night. 

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HOW TO BET ON: DUKE BLUE DEVILS vs KENTUCKY WILDCATS – BETTING LINES

With Duke ranked no. 9 and Kentucky ranked no.10 overall heading into the season, there truly is no clear-cut favorite in this game. All we know is that these are two legendary programs looking for bounce-back campaigns after enduring forgettably rare seasons a year ago. 

However, the Blue Devils will be highly motivated as they begin Coach Krzyzewski’s final season calling the shots. I think that alone will lead to an all-around impressive performance by Duke.

I also worry for Kentucky, as they have a lot of new faces on their roster. Coach John Calipari brought in a plethora of new players by recruiting young stars and adding players via transfer. While these additions were necessary following the poor results of 2020-2021 for the Wildcats, it may take some time for all of these players to develop chemistry. 

In the long run, both of these teams are going to be successful. But I like Duke to earn the victory on Tuesday night.  

OBS BETTING PICKS for DUKE BLUE DEVILS vs KENTUCKY WILDCATS NCAABB

I think the spread and total are both tellings of how competitive this game is going to be. Expect Duke to pull out the victory late in the fourth quarter. 

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