Jacksonville vs. Duke Odds
The 2022-2023 Duke men’s basketball team is set to begin a new era after Coach K established an excellence in the program for the past 42 years.
Will the excellence continue under the leadership of Jon Scheyer?
Dolphins head coach Jordan Mincy’s first-year performance was enough to warrant a contract extension through 2031. Mincy’s success is at least in part due to his recruiting efforts, including a successful courting of former Florida Gator and Illinois Fighting Illini forward Omar Payne.
Payne figures to head the Dolphins’ frontcourt as they face the Blue Devils in a tough test Monday night.
Jacksonville has not opened its schedule by facing a Power Five conference opponent since 2013.
If the Dolphins are to keep this one close, they will likely do so by flexing their defensive muscles at Cameron Indoor. In Mincy’s rookie season at the helm, Jacksonville ranked fifth in scoring defense while tallying a school-record 15 consecutive home wins.
The Dolphins and Mincy are returning every player — except guard Tyreese Davis — from last year.
That experience — and the experience of coach Mincy, who played a collegiate game at Duke while competing for Kent State — are signs that point to Jacksonville being as prepared as possible for the test it faces Monday night.
In addition to Payne, forwards Osayi Osifo and Mike Marsh are key to the stout interior defense of Jacksonville. Coach Mincy preaches a style of play that mimics the Big Ten Conference’s approach, where the first team to 60 often wins.
The team’s scoring will primarily come from guard Kevion Nolan, who was voted First Team All-Conference in the ASUN preseason poll. Although defense will be the Dolphins’ primary point of emphasis, Nolan will need to shine in order to keep pace with the talent of Duke’s roster.
Eyes will be focused on the sideline just as much as the team on the court.
The Blue Devils will be somewhat shorthanded, with two of their key incoming freshman recruits — wing Dariq Whitehead and center Dereck Lively II — likely out due to injury. Still, a roster full of talented newcomers will look to take a proper first step for Duke and Scheyer’s tenure.
Jeremy Roach is the key returnee from a leadership and continuity standpoint. Despite losing the majority of the key pieces from the Final Four run last year, Roach will be a valuable piece in terms of maintaining the standard of success Duke fans expect.
In an intensely pressure-filled postseason run this past spring, Roach was as important as anyone to Duke’s success, especially in closing out Texas Tech to reach the Elite Eight.
Duke lost Paolo Banchero, Wendell Moore Jr., AJ Griffin, Trevor Keels and Mark Williams to the NBA, Joey Baker via transfer and Theo John graduated. Only 11% of the Blue Devils’ scoring is returning this season, almost entirely credited to Roach.
Still, they enter the season at No. 7 in the AP Poll due to their ability to reload talent so quickly. Their talent looks great on paper, but will likely take a while to mesh together, particularly on the offensive end.
Against a team like Jacksonville, I would expect a few growing pains and sloppy turnovers on opening night.
Furthermore, playing with the pressure to perform for Scheyer in his first game will be a heavy burden for an especially young team.
Jacksonville vs. Duke Betting Pick
On a night that will be full of emotions and pressure to perform, I would expect a young Duke roster to show the typical signs of a team playing “tight.”
In short, I don’t expect Duke to play with its peak offensive rhythm and efficiency against a sound defensive team in Jacksonville.
Nervousness can be poured into effort on the defensive end, however, so I would expect Duke to have a solid performance in guarding a Jacksonville team that isn’t extremely talented in scoring metrics.
I would play the under here, under the expectation that both offenses will struggle at times. Late-game fouling shouldn’t drive this total over, assuming Duke has the win in hand late.