Army vs. Duke NCAA Basketball Betting Analysis and Free Pick

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Trevor Keels #1 of Duke dives for a loose ball against Kentucky. Mike Stobe/Getty Images/AFP

Mike Krzyzewski has been the head coach at two schools, Army and Duke, and both the Black Knights and Blue Devils will be on the floor together as part of a big lineup of college basketball betting action on Friday’s card. What are the NCAAB odds for this one? Let’s break them down.

Army Black Knights vs. Duke Blue Devils

Friday, November 12, 2021 – 07:00 PM EST at Cameron Indoor Stadium

We’ll enjoy the 99 games on tap while we can since Friday schedules will be severely cut down once the season gets past the Christmas holidays. The slate also includes 15 ranked teams hitting the courts, and while a lot of those games have a bit of a David vs. Goliath feel to them, the evening is capped off by a top 5 battle at Pauley Pavilion where UCLA hosts Villanova.

This is among the David vs. Goliath matchups with the only thing the programs have in common – other than Krzyzewski coached at both schools – being the fact neither Army nor Duke reached the NCAA Men’s Tournament a year ago. Of course, the Black Knights are one of 44 D-I schools to have never been invited to the Big Dance while the Blue Devils are among the favorites on the college basketball futures to win a sixth championship in what would be their 44th appearance at March Madness.

Duke Leads All-Time Series 10-3

This match is conspicuously absent from the boards and many online betting sites, and the few who are currently showing lines for the game have Duke favored by 24.5 points. The most common total being offered is 142.5.

Krzyzewski never did get a matchup with Duke during his five years as Army’s head coach (1975-80), but he’s managed to schedule the Black Knights seven times previously during his 42 seasons with the Blue Devils.

It comes as no surprise that Duke won all seven of those contests, with the smallest margin of victory being 20 points. Six of the seven took place in Durham with the November 1997 game the only one to take place at West Point.

The most recent clash was on Veteran’s Day 2018, that contest also serving as Duke’s second game of the season after beating Kentucky in the Champions Classic a few days earlier. Army proved a pesky bunch for the first half before Zion Williamson led the Blue Devils in the final 20 minutes for a 94-72 win. Duke was favored by 38.5, giving the Black Knights their second consecutive cover.

Young Knights Cruise to Opening Win

Just as Krzyzewski has never forgotten his playing days and early coaching days at West Point, Army isn’t shying away from its connection to the winningest coach in college hoops history, and the merchandising possibilities that go with it. Leading into Friday’s contest, the school’s website had a Krzyzewski autographed basketball up for auction, with the opening bid at $750.

Jacob Kessler of Army battled for a ball against Tre Jones #3 of Duke the last time these schools played against. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images/AFP

At least Army was able to get its season off on a winning note as the Black Knights had an easy time with SUNY New Paltz for an 83-52 win. Jimmy Allen emptied his bench in a contest that didn’t draw any interest from top sportsbooks, and accruing some experience for his relatively young roster was the best part of the triumph as far as the Black Knights head coach was concerned.

Army led the entire way and took a 20-point lead into the locker room. The Black Knights hit nearly 55% from the field, which was nice, but that was a higher clip than their 52.9% from the line, which wasn’t so nice. Charlie Peterson led the way with 17, and Josh Campbell, last season’s Summit League Defensive Player of the Year, added 14.

Freshmen Lead Dookies Past UK in Opener

The farewell tour for Krzyzewski got off to a spectacular start with a 79-71 win over Kentucky in the Champions Classic. A near-capacity crowd at Madison Square Garden added to the feel of a Final Four game as the Blue Devils and Wildcats traded blows and leads until about the 5-minute mark of the second half when Duke pulled away, to cover the 2-point betting odds.

Paulo Banchero got most of the hype among the players going into Tuesday’s matchup, and he did enjoy a strong 22-point, 7-rebound performance in his collegiate debut. It was Trevor Keels, however, who garnered honors as the game’s high scorer with 25. The Blue Devils came away with nine steals against just nine turnovers but also shot a woeful 1-for-13 from 3-point range.

Maybe this one will start to show up at more sportsbooks later this morning, but for now, I’m willing to go with a free college basketball pick on the Knights plus the points.

NCAAB Pick: Army +24.5 (-109) at GTbets (visit our GTbets Review)

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Army +24.5 (-109)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.