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Duke Blue Devils at Louisville Cardinals Betting Preview

NCAA Basketball Previews

Two of the premier programs in the ACC square off on Saturday afternoon for an important game. The Louisville Cardinals host the Duke Blue Devils, and both teams are looking for a resume-building win.

Duke is just 3-2 so far in conference action, and both of those losses have come in its previous two games. The Blue Devils have dropped out of the Top 25 and are in danger of finishing in the bottom half of the league.

Louisville has also lost two straight games, and it is 4-2 so far in ACC action. The Cardinals are expected to make a run at the conference title, but they can't afford any more losses at home. 

The Louisville Cardinals are 2.5-point favorites over the Duke Blue Devils. 

Defense a Problem For Duke

The Blue Devils have struggled on the defensive end of the floor, and lack of depth has further complicated those issues. This is a young Duke team, and Coach Mike Krzyzewski has not been able to get those players to buy in on that end of the floor.

Another area that has plagued this team is three-point shooting, as the Blue Devils are making just 33 percent of their shots from deep. Duke is going to have to shoot it well to beat Louisville, especially playing on the road.

Forward Matthew Hurt leads the team with 18.9 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, but he has struggled to get much help. DJ Steward and Jalen Johnson have combined for more than 25 points per night, but they have not been consistent enough.

Cardinals Must Shoot Well

Louisville is actually shooting it worse than Duke from deep, making just 32 percent of its shots from the three-point line. The Cardinals are led by a pair of guards, and those players can make a difference in this one.

Carlik Jones and David Johnson have combined for more than 30 points per game, and they are able to score from the perimeter. Louisville has more size than Duke, and it should be able to find some interior scoring as well.

The Cardinals are giving up just 65.5 points per game, and that defense should be able to slow down Duke on Saturday afternoon. 

Louisville Too Much at Home

Both Duke and Louisville are desperate for a win after struggling to win games of late. These teams could make some noise in the NCAA Tournament, but things have not gone well in ACC play.

Duke has just struggled to get stops in conference games, and it doesn't have enough scoring options to make up for the lack of defense. The Blue Devils still have plenty of talent, but most of that talent is young and not ready to win tough road games.

Louisville will need to make shots in this game, but it will have more freedom against a weaker defensive team. The Cardinals can't afford to lose any more games at home, and they pick up a win in this game.

Bet the Louisville Cardinals -2.5 over the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday afternoon.

For more Dunkel Index college basketball picks, check out our NCAA basketball picks page.

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