FanDuel’s odds for KU vs. Duke in Champions Classic
College basketball is officially back.
While it is tougher to get gambling information in this sport compared to others, that isn’t the case for the season opener. That is because we get the luxury of watching a doozy of a doubleheader in the Champions Classic to officially begin the 2019-20 college basketball season.
No. 3 Kansas is slated to square off with No. 4 Duke at 6 p.m. tonight, while No. 1 Michigan State and No. 2 Kentucky will follow in a marquee doubleheader at Madison Square Garden.
For plenty of KU-related odds for this season, check out a recent blog by our men’s basketball beat writer Matt Tait. He is in New York City and will provide plenty of great coverage from tonight.
With tipoff just hours away, let’s take a look at all the odds for the Champions Classic contest between Kansas and Duke. You can check out my official prediction for this game in my blog where I took a closer look at the Blue Devils.
All of these lines are presented by FanDuel’s Sportsbook. Sign up today on FanDuel using this special promotion.
FanDuel’s odds for Kansas vs. Duke
Spread: Kansas -2.5
Total score: 153.5
1st half spread: Kansas -1.5
1st half total points: 72.5
1st half away team total points: 37
1st half home team total points: 35.5
1st half money line: Duke (+115) or Kansas (-135)
2nd half point spread: Kansas (-1)
2nd half total points: 81
2nd half away team total points: 41
2nd half home team total points: 40
Kansas opened as a 2.5-point underdog on Saturday, but is now favored by that much. If you got the opening line, that would obviously be the best value for this game. Based on these numbers, though, I’m tempted to ride the under train on a lot of these point totals.
Taking the under on a total score of 153.5 is my top bet, but I could be talked into similar action on the first half total and even respective team totals. With the NCAA extending the 3-point line this year, the under deserves a look in most college basketball games early on.
Duke struggled to hit outside shots last year, and Kansas will try to use a two-big approach this season. In addition, the individual matchup between Tre Jones and Devon Dotson features two very good defenders at the point guard position.
KenPom’s preseason numbers suggest both teams will be in the top-20 in adjusted defensive efficiency, with the Blue Devils ranking No. 3 in the nation. KenPom projects Duke to win by a 78-74 margin, which would mean the under hits in that situation.
So if you must have action on this game, I’d bet the under and enjoy a defensive battle.