College Basketball Picks: Duke Blue Devils Futures Odds
by George Monroy - 9/19/2013
The Duke Blue Devils ended last season with another deep tournament run when they were eliminated in the round of eight by the eventual champion Louisville Cardinals. The Blue Devils competed in their 13th Elite Eight game in the last 27 years under Coach Mike Krzyzewski and again are expect to be in the national title mix. The team is receiving the fourth-best odds in the nation at 10/1 and only trails the Kentucky Wildcats, Kansas Jayhawks, and Michigan St. Spartans. Duke’s last national title came in 2010 and was the fourth for the school’s coach and his eight title game appearance.
The Blue Devils will be returning a group of experienced players as nearly two-thirds of its roster is either a junior or a senior. Over the years Krzyzewski has preferred to stay away from the one-and-done type players and has built his roster by developing players and relying on team chemistry. Duke might be at a disadvantage because of its lack of multiple superstar-quality players, but the team is still expected to be a contender once the season starts. Let’s take a closer look at the Duke Blue Devils title odds and roster of players to figure out just how good the team is expected to be.
NCAA title odds
Duke Blue Devils: +1000
Duke last won a national title in 2010 when the team escaped a last-second shot that would have stolen the championship away from them and awarded it to the Butler Bulldogs. Since then the team has continued to be very good and is one of the best squads in the nation year-in and year-out, but they have not been able to repeat the success of that year. Duke should have a better squad than the one they put on the court last season, if only because most players will have another year of experience and a deep run in the tournament to learn from. Coach Krzyzewski’s motto has been to build championship teams from the ground up instead of nabbing a couple of one-year recruits from high school. If this same group of core players could make the round of eight last year, then they are a legitimate title contender. Are they as good as the Kentucky Wildcats or Kansas Jayhawks? The truth is that they are probably not. However, taking the team at +1000 is not a horrible bet to make.
Last season the Blue Devils completed the season with a 30-6 overall record and a 14-4 conference record, which was good for second place in the ACC. The team lost its captain Seth Curry to the NBA, along with its two 6-foot-10 forwards Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee. Duke will enter the season with a projected starting lineup of guards Quinn Cook, and Rasheed Sulaimon; forwards Rodney Hood, and Jabari Parker; with Amile Jefferson at center.
The team is expected to be led by transfer Hood and highly-regarded freshmen Parker. Many experts believe Parker to be the best high school player in the nation outside of Andrew Wiggins. Duke will be a smaller team than last years, but they should also be faster and more perimeter driven. If the team can receive some solid play in the post, they should be a very good this year. The addition of Parker gives Duke a player to help compete with the loaded roster in Kentucky and the Wiggins factor in Kansas.
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