Duke Blue Devils at Louisville Cardinals – NCAAM January 23

Duke Blue Devils (5-4, 3-2) at Louisville Cardinals (9-3, 4-2)

Time:  1 PST – 3 CST – 4 EST
Place: KFC er Saturday’s Yum! Center, Louisville, Ky.

What’s at Stake:

The winner stays in touch with the upper echelon of the ACC while the loser is in the middle – for now. The ACC is so balanced this season and then we are living in the covid era, so there’s no certainty how things will shuffle in the standings from week to week. Both teams have lost two in a row.

Louisville hold all-time lead in series, 10-7:

The series is virtually even as the two are tied 3-3 at the KFC Yum! Center while Coach Mike Krzyzewski is 6-7 in his career vs. the Cardinals. Duke is 6-4 in the last 10 games although the Cardinals took a 79-73 in over the Blue Devils last season in a game that announced David Johnson’s arrival as he scored 19 points. Six of the last seven have been decided by less than 10 points.

Vs. The Spread:


  • The Blue Devils are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games
  • The total has gone over in 4 of Duke’s last 6 games
  • Duke is 1-7 in their last 8 on the road


  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Louisville’s last 5 games
  • The Cardinals are 2-4 ATS in the last 6 games
  • The OVER has been the play in 4 of the Cardinals’ last 5 ACC tilts
Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Duke +3 (-115) O 141 (-110)

-3 (-105) U 141 (-110)

Last Time Out:

Duke had no answer for Pitt’s Justin Champaigne as the Panthers sophomore had 31 points and 14 rebounds in Pittsburgh’s 79-73 win. Pitt led 55-40 with 1:32 remaining, but Duke outscored the Panthers, 33-24, the rest of the way. Jalen Johnson scored a career-high 24 points with 15 rebounds and seven assist to lead the Blue Devils as 18 of those points came in the second half.

Louisville had a quick turnaround after Saturday’s 78-72 loss in Miami as Florida State put away the Cardinals, 78-65, on Monday night. The Seminoles hit a quick 17-3 run early in the game to blow out to a 22-7 lead and never looked back as Louisville lost it’s second game in a 48-hour period. The Cardinals cut the deficit to 57-49 with 11:34 to play in the second half, but the ‘Noles answered with an 8-0 run to put the game away. Carlik Jones had 17 points and David Johnson had 15 points and eight assists for the Cards.

Blue Devils Stat Pack:
  • Only three times in at least the last 10 seasons has a power conference player logged a game with 15+ points, 15+ rebounds, 5+ assists and 4+ blocked shots. Freshman Jalen Johnson has two of those three occurrences, the latest coming in that loss to Pitt.
  • Duke point guard Jordan Goldwire leads the ACC in steals per game (2.56) and is ninth nationally as he leads all power conference players.
  • Duke fell out of the AP Top 25 this week which snapped a streak of 99 weeks that the Blue Devils have been ranked

Duke Grease Board:

Duke Blue Devils LogoOffensively, the Blue Devils have to get their offense back in sync against another good Chris Mack defensive team from Louisville. Duke has shot only 39 percent in the back-to-back losses while making only 16-of-57 three-point field goals. Leading scorer Matthew Hurt (18.9 ppg, 8.2 rpg) is a good player to try to start the re-emergence of the offense as he struggled in the loss to Pitt with just 13 points.

Jalen Johnson (12.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg) is the Blue Devils’ best overall player as he had an amazing evening in the loss to Pitt after four minutes at Virginia Tech after missing three games with an injured foot. Duke hasn’t been very aggressive with the basketball in getting to the line, so the Cardinals’ defense, which has only faced 12 turnover per game can get up in the passing lanes and sit more on Duke’s ball handlers to make plays at the paint.

Cardinals Stat Pack:
  • Carlik Jones is the only player in the ACC to rank among the top five in scoring (17.9 ppg, 3rd/ACC) and assists (4.7 apg/3rd).
  • Jae’Lyn Withers has made 71.8 percent of his shots over his last six games (28-of-39) and has produced double-doubles in two of his last four games.
  • David Johnson has posted 17 assists and just nine turnovers in his last five games after totaling 29 assists and 29 turnovers in his first seven.

Cardinals Grease Board:

Louisville Cardinals LogoThe Cardinals have got to get the ball into the paint off the dribble and then knock down threes to get offensive rhythm and confidence going again. They had 70 combined points in the paint in those losses to Miami and Florida State and they made 17-of-41 triples although they make only 5.4 threes per game. Carlik Jones (17.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg) is the only player who was consistent in those two games with an average of 21 points and five assists. Jae’lyn Withers (10.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg) averaged a double-double vs. the Florida schools with 16 points and 10 boards. Figure in that Virginia Tech and Pitt combined for 64 points in the paint vs. Duke and the Cardinals may be onto something with the inside-outside duo.

Winner: Louisville (-3) 74, Duke 69
O/U: Take OVER 141

The Bets
Louisville -3
OVER 141
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.

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