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January 23, 2017

There is one college pick tonight.

Take NC State +16.5 spread against Duke for 3% of the bankroll.

There is no question that the NC State Wolfpack have been in bit of a slump as of late as they come into this rivalry game with the #18 ranked Duke Blue Devils having lost 4 of their last 5. A big reason for their sudden slump is due to their defense, or lack thereof. The Wolfpack have struggled on the defensive side of the basketball as they have given up an average of 84.7 points per game since conference play started. While they have struggled on defense, they are one of the more offensively prolific teams in the country ranking 34th in the nation in scoring, averaging 81.6 points per game on the season while shooting 48% from the field.

We personally don't think this NC State team is as poor as their conference record has led on and are more than capable of lighting up the scoreboard. This is a huge in-state rivalry game for the Pack and it's being played in Cameron Indoor Stadium, a place where NC State has lost 16 straight and has not recorded a victory dating all the way back to 1995! While they have not been able to gain victory in this stadium in quite some time, most of the games have been competitive simply due to the added motivation that a rivalry game brings out. In fact, the last 5 times these teams have squared off, the average margin of victory for the Blue Devils has been 8.25.

Another area where the Wolfpack may have an advantage is the fact that Duke is not playing at full strength and come into this contest a little banged up. Grayson Allen has a dislocated pinky finger and Amile Jefferson has been dealing with a foot injury that kept him sidelined for a couple of games. Let's not forget that Coach K is also not on the sidelines as he is currently recovering from his own surgery so to say the Blue Devils are a bit shorthanded is certainly not an understatement.

Duke is an incredibly deep and talented team, but one that we don't believe necessarily cares about winning this one in blowout fashion! Even if they happen to grab a big lead in this matchup, putting forth a huge effort for 40 minutes and potentially risking further injury isn't likely their highest priority. They will most likely be just a satisfied winning this game by 10 points as they would by 20. With NC State's ability on the offensive end, they should be able to keep this game relatively competitive in the early going and even if things get out of hand, they certainly have the ability to close the gap late and grab a backdoor cover. This many points in a rivalry game is simply too many to pass up on.

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