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Michigan vs. Duke Betting Lines

#22 Michigan Wolverines vs. #6 Duke Blue Devils Preview

When: Tuesday, December 3rd 2013 at 9:15pm ET
Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina
Watch: ESPN

The Duke Blue Devils 6-2 (4-4 ATS) already have two losses on the season (Michigan State & Arizona). Michigan is expected to have a bit of a down year and they’re out to a 5-2 (2-3 ATS) start although that’s likely to become worse after this match-up on Tuesday.

Duke’s two losses to begin the year haven’t been bad and it has been a good test for their young team. The Wolverines lost to a solid Iowa State team early in the season, but they had a questionable loss against Charlotte, which definitely raised some eyebrows.

Latest Blue Devils vs. Wolverines Point Spread & Over/Under

Can Duke Get on Track at Home Against Michigan

The Blue Devils may not be undefeated, but they have to be happy with the way the team has built chemistry early on. There is a lot of time this season to beat the top ranked opponents and I can only see this team getting better as they continue to gain experience.

Freshman Jabari Parker has been living up to the hype that surrounded him. Parker leads Duke with 23 PPG, 8 RPG and 1.8 BPG. I’ve also been impressed with transfer Rodney Hood so far. Hood ranks 2nd on the team in points scored (20 PPG) and rebounds (5 RPG).

Quin Cook leads the team in assists (6 APG) and he ranks 3rd in points scored (13.4 PPG). As a team the Blue Devils are one of the top offensive teams in the nation. Duke is shooting 52% from the field (8th) plus they average 87 PPG (20th) and 16.3 APG (37th).

One area where Duke has struggled is on the boards (32.6 RPG – 290th) and they need to get tougher in the paint, especially against ranked opponents with quality big men. In both losses this season the Blue Devils were dominated on the boards and it hurt them.

Will Michigan Be Able to Keep Up on the Scoreboard

Michigan’s schedule hasn’t been that tough to start the season and Duke will be the first ranked opponent they’ve faced. Michigan is struggling immensely on offense. Michigan is only scoring 78.1 PPG (108th) while shooting an abysmal 44% from the field (193rd).

They’ve played well as a team and dish it out often (15.7 APG – 48th). However, like Duke, the Wolverines lack size in the paint and average 39.6 RPG (75th). Mitch McGary will be the toughest match-up in the paint for Duke. McGary leads Michigan with 7.8 RPG.

Nik Stauskas has been the main focus when running offensive plays and he leads the team with 20.3 PPG. Stauskas is shooting over 50% from the field to begin the season and nearly 50% from beyond the arc. Stauskas will need to score 20+ to keep Michigan close.

The Wolverines come into this match-up giving up just 61 PPG (16th) defensively, but they haven’t played against an offense as tough as Duke is going to be. Trying to stop Parker and Hood isn’t going to be easy, but Michigan needs to hold Duke to under 70 points.

There are two important battles the Wolverines need to win to keep this game close. Duke has had some problems turning the ball over to begin the season. They’re averaging over 10 turnovers per game and Michigan has to put pressure on the ball handler.

Players That Have to Step Up

Most of the attention will be on Parker in this game, but Hood has to play like he has been all season. Hood has played a lot early in the year and he has been shooting 62% from the field. Duke can’t afford to have Parker as the lone scorer and will need Hood.

Stauskas has to be shooting well, but I feel McGary is the piece to the puzzle for Michigan. McGary has to utilize his size against Duke to score easy baskets in the paint and to clean up the boards. He also leads the team in steals (2.2 SPG) so far this season.

Blue Devils vs. Wolverines Prediction

I’m still waiting on the bookies to release the odds for this match-up on Tuesday, so I’ll have to update this area once they are. Right now I’m leaning towards Michigan plus the points depending upon how many they get, but I can’t confirm until the lines are out.

*UPDATE* The lines are out now and I’m taking the Wolverines plus the points.

ScottThis article was written by Scott

Scott is one of the original degenerates working for MobileSportsBetting.com. Although he's most successful betting on NFL football and international soccer, he's also active in UFC and NHL hockey betting.

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