Baylor vs Duke (4:00pm)
Carrying strong momentum into Wednesday's game, the Duke Blue Devils are primed to sustain their impressive basketball prowess against the Baylor Bears. Baylor's recent loss to Michigan State highlighted many vulnerabilities in their game and I believe Duke will be able to capitalize. Recognized for their exceptional performances at Madison Square Garden, where they hold a 40-18 record (69%), the Blue Devils are expected to maintain their winning streak on Wednesday night, securing not only the victory but also covering the spread.
While Baylor excels in offensive rebounding, the task of finding favorable positions against Mark Mitchell and Kyle Filipowski, who possesses the 16th best defensive rebounding rate among over 2,200 eligible Division 1 basketball players, may prove challenging for Yves Missi and Jalen Bridges. Additionally, I have reservations about Baylor’s front court defense against Filipowski's versatility and mobility. Kyle Filipowski, the sophomore center, maintains his impressive performance on the court. Following his outstanding display of 28 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists, and three blocks against Hofstra, he proves to be a force to be reckoned with. As the preseason Associated Press All-American and ACC Preseason Player of the Year, Filipowski boasts averages of 18.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, and three assists per game. His shooting accuracy is remarkable, connecting on 52% of field goals and 74% of free throws. Notably, he is a contender for prestigious awards, including the Karl Malone Award, NABC Player of the Year, and the Wooden Award.
Overnight, the betting line shifted favorably for Duke, moving from -1 to -2.5 or -3, a change that aligns with my assessment. Duke holds a defensive edge in this contest, consistently keeping opponents below 80 points and ranking in the top 50 for adjusted defensive efficiency according to both KenPom and BartTorvik. Their prowess extends to limiting offensive rebounds, boasting a top 10 opposing offensive rebound rate, along with impressive rankings in Haslametric’s points per second chance and second chance conversion percentage.
Whether or not Proctor is in the lineup, Duke possesses the components to sustain its underrated scoring output while effectively limiting Baylor’s offensive rebounds and open jump shots. Despite the line movement, I recommend betting on the Blue Devils. My numbers have Duke winning by 2-3 points in a highly contested game. My Free Pick for the Duke/Baylor game tonight is to take Duke on the moneyline.
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Pick: Duke ML (-150)
🍀Best of luck!