Cal Vs Duke Handicapping Preview

Ray MonohanContributor IMarch 21, 2010

JACKSONVILLE, FL - MARCH 19:  Jerome Randle #3 of the California Golden Bears shoots against the Louisville Cardinals during the first round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Jacksonville Veteran's Memorial Arena on March 19, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida. California defeated Louisville 77-62.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

CappersPicks – College Basketball Tournament Game Previews

Team records:

Duke – 30-5 SU, 19-13-2 ATS
California – 24-10 SU, 20-13

Duke vs California Odds
Duke in installed as the definitive favourite at -6.
Cal +6
Over/Under: 149
Moneyline: Cal +220, Duke -260

This second round matchup will take place in Jacksonville, FL. at 5:15PM on Sunday

There is no recent matchup history between these teams.

I should start by admitting I am one of those people who is not very fond of Duke. I took great pleasure when they were spanked by Georgetown on national television but since that time they have only lost once and are looking better and better.

The trio of Jon Scheyer, Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler is super productive and hard to stop. They all average better than 17ppg and beat you from all over the floor. What has been most impressive lately though is the emergence of front court players Brian Zoubek and Miles Plumlee.

They offer the Blue Devils good size up front but more importantly they free up Singler from having to do all the dirty work. This is the best Duke team in a while.

I am not sure it is championship calibre…I guess we will find out soon.

Cal was fairly impressive in eliminating Louisville in the first round.

The back court of Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher combined for 38 points, a very good total but one they will likely have to exceed to beat the Blue Devils. Although Duke’s big three prefer the perimeter the Blue Devils are likely to look to exploit Cal’s lack of size inside. 

Jamal Boykin is Cal’s leading rebounder but at only 6′8″ he will have trouble bothering Zoubek or Plumlee.

If ever there was a game they needed Max Zang to step up it would be this one. He is 7′3″ but doesn’t play very much or very well.

If I were coach Montgomery I would start him to see if the nod of confidence brings out his A game…but this is unlikely.

Betting Trends:

California is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games
Duke is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Blue Devils are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 NCAA Tournament games
Blue Devils are 3-11 ATS in their last 14 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite
Golden Bears are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 neutral site games
Golden Bears are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. Atlantic Coast

Free Blue Devils vs. Golden Bears CBB Pick

Cal drew a tough bracket as Duke is perfectly suited to stymie their perimeter oriented attack and take advantage of their lack of size. However, they are well coached and their back court of Randle and Christopher are looking good. The Bears will challenge throughout but in the end come up a little bit short.

Score prediction: Duke 79 – California 75 

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