Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 5:14 PM EST.
Streaming: CBS Sports Network
DUQUESNE +115 over Davidson
7:00 PM EST. Beneath Bob McKillop’s glossy set of luscious locks lies an AI-level processing chip of a basketball brain. This beautiful mind has conceived one of the game’s most elaborate offensive schemes, the secret sauce to Davidson’s rise from tiny liberal arts college into a known national basketball brand. Ok, fair, Steph Curry’s 2008 NCAA Tournament circus show didn’t hurt either). Still Davidson is on the map with some serious pedigree over the past dozen or so years while Duquesne is more a less an afterthought in the unforgiving A-10.
McKillop’s renowned brilliance isn’t blemish-free. The defensive side of the ball is where he repeatedly spars with old demons. It’s not a function of poor coaching or flawed defensive principles, it's just that this is an offensive minded team that is always at the mercy of shooting percentage. Davidson is a pedestrian 5-4 after playing the 174th ranked Strength of Schedule in the country. However, two of its losses were to Texas and Richmond and both were very close so Davidson has plenty of market respect. The Wildcats lost two key members from last year’s squad in Luke Frampton and KiShawn Pritchard and have already been exposed by streaky shooting nights. If they shoot lights out tonight, oh well.
Duquesne is high on our radar. Here is a team with no market presence and just four games under their belt this year. The Dukes lost to Little Rock and to George Washington in the second game of back-to-backs against GW. Duquesne’s two wins came against UNC Greensboro and GW so again, their body of work does not look very good on paper but make no mistake that they have played four tough teams. KenPom has them playing the 120th ranked Strength of Schedule (SOS) in the country while Davisosn’s SOS is ranked 174th.
Last year, the Dukes eclipsed the 20-win mark for the first time since Ron Everhart reached that milestone in 2009, claiming a share of 5th place in a strong A-10 field. Keith Dambrot dodged the transfer bullet this summer, as the Dukes effectively roll back their entire roster for a promising 2021 ride.
The Dukes are overflowing with experience and explosiveness. As many as six guys have the chops to go for 20 on any given night, so good luck to the Wildcats guessing which one will strike next. The Dukes enter 2021 as a well-oiled machine. They won’t need the fine tuning many other squads importing new pieces must undergo, a major edge in this COVID-19 environment but the market is not liking their lack of games played this year but from our perch, four games is just right to get the kinks out. This is a good team and a great home dog taking back points against a team that is not better than they are.
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DUQUESNE +127 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.54)