Both the Army Black Knights and the Duke Blue Devils started the 2021-2022 college basketball season off with a win. But the wins were very different in terms of their quality and the amount of attention that they received. In this Army Black Knights vs. Duke Blue Devils matchup, Army will have a chance to build off of their first win of the season, while Duke will look to pick up a sentimental win for their coach.
With this being the final season where Mike Krzyzewski is the head coach at Duke, this game will be an opportunity to remember his time coaching at Army. Krzyzewski got his start in coaching at Army, which he took advantage of as a part of his meteoric rise to greatness. On Friday, Coach K will have a chance to lead his top-10 team into a game where they are heavy favorites against his old program.
Army Black Knights – Facing An Uphill Battle
The Army Black Knights got a win in their first game of the season, beating SUNY New Paltz by a score of 83-52. Army was never challenged in the game, which isn’t surprising given that they played a team in New Paltz that isn’t a member of Division I college athletics. But Army did do a good job of taking care of business in that game, moving the ball well and assisting on 19 of their field goals in the win.
Of course, Army is in for a much tougher night against Duke on Friday, as they have to go on the road and take on a team that is exponentially better than the one they faced just a few days ago. Defense will be the key for Army if they want to compete in this game, as guarding players like Trevor Keels and Paulo Banchero is a tougher task than the Black Knights are used to when playing in the Patriot League.
Expected Line-Up: Josh Caldwell, Jalen Rucker, Jared Cross, Aaron Duhart, Charlie Peterson
with best odds
Duke Blue Devils – An Elite Basketball Team
The Duke Blue Devils got off to a strong start by winning in the Champions Classic on Tuesday night against Kentucky. That game against Kentucky was a tight contest until late in the second half, when the Blue Devils did an incredible job of executing offensively down the stretch. Keels was especially impressive for the Blue Devils late in that game, as he was able to get to the basket and make plays that nobody on either team could.
There is a concern for Duke coming into this game, though, and that is the fact that Duke relied heavily on isolation to get their scoring done late on against Kentucky. They had just seven assists against the Wildcats, as a lot of their late scoring came without the kind of ball movement necessary to win sustainably against elite teams. But against Army, their superior athleticism should be good enough to pick up the win against a lesser opponent.
Expected Line-Up: Trevor Keels, Jeremy Roach, Wendell Moore Jr., Paulo Banchero, Mark Willams
Expert Pick #1 – Duke -24.5 @ -110
The first bet to place on this game is to back Duke -24.5 at -110 odds. The Blue Devils are just superior to Army in every way, and should put a real hurting on the Black Knights from the start of this game. Duke should be able to move the ball better against a team that isn’t as good at defending physically or laterally as Duke’s last opponent.
Expert Pick #2 – Under 142.5 @ -110
The second bet for this game is the under 142.5 at -110 odds. Army is going to be locked down by the Duke defense, as Duke has an advantage in terms of both size and quickness, which will lead to Army having to take a lot of contested shots late in the shot clock. While Duke will certainly put up their share of points in this game, Army will help the game stay under.
Expert Pick #3 – Duke -24.5 and Under 142.5 @ +255
The final bet we are making for this matchup is a Unibet game combo of the Duke point spread and the under at +255 odds. This is essentially just a two-team parlay for the game, but it is worth a small amount as the over/under number is increasing providing value on that market especially.
While the Army Black Knights certainly hold a special place in the heart of Mike Krzyzewski, the Duke Blue Devils aren’t going to hold back on them when it comes to this matchup on Friday night. Duke is going to control the game from start to finish and cover the point spread while getting Coach K’s final season off to a 2-0 start.