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Texas Tech vs. Duke – 12/20/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Predictions

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Duke Blue Devils College Basketball Thursday, Dec 20, 2018 (7:00pm est) Current Odds: Duke -10, Total Points 148.5

Texas Tech Red Raiders Betting Trends:

Texas Tech is 7-13-1 ATS in its last 21 games
Texas Tech is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Texas Tech’s last 11 games

Duke Blue Devils Betting Trends:

Duke is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Duke is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Duke’s last 5 games

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It looks like a clash of contrasting styles for Thursday night’s showdown between No. 2 Duke and No. 12 Texas Tech at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Duke is one of the most high-flying, offensive-oriented teams in the country. By contrast, Texas Tech has been getting it done on defense.

Texas Tech (10-0) is one of nine remaining undefeated Division I teams.

“On offense, they always play with spacing with their best players getting the shots,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “They always play fast. Victory favors the team that is the most aggressive and I think that is what Duke is by definition. They have an aggressive defense and an aggressive offense.”

Texas Tech leads the country in categories such as scoring defense (51.2) and field-goal defense (32.2 percent).

Duke (10-1) paces the country with a scoring margin of plus-29.4.

Texas Tech is unbeaten through 10 games for only the second time in school history. The Red Raiders started 12-0 in 1929-30.

Duke is riding a five-game winning streak, with all of the victories in the stretch coming by wide margins at home.

Duke has several freshmen who do a large chunk of scoring, with forward RJ Barrett averaging 24.5 points per game and forward Zion Williamson checking in at 20.1.

This is the type of game the Blue Devils are looking forward to.

“I think everybody loves playing big games,” Barrett said. “Another test for us to see where we are and what we can do.”

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Williamson said he covets the chance that this game offers.

“The Garden, that’s where big names are made,” he said. “It’s always exciting to play a highly ranked opponent, but we’ve just got to go into the game and play our game.”

Duke is 34-18 all time at Madison Square Garden. The storied venue is a regular stop for the Blue Devils.

“It’s every kid’s dream to play in the Garden,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. ” … It still a thrill for me to go there.”

For Texas Tech, this is a major non-conference assignment.

“I think one thing we do is embrace the reality,” Beard said. “We don’t shy away from this. It’s a great opportunity on national television, historic Duke, sellout, Madison Square Garden, future NBA players. We don’t shy away from that. … Part of introducing Duke (in the game plan to the players) is embracing the reality of what this is. This is a great opportunity for our program.”

The Red Raiders have won each game this season by double-digit margins.

Beard said the mindset requires the right approach for this game.

“It’s a business trip and we’re going to play one of the best teams in college basketball,” he said. “But at the same time, it’s an opportunity to enjoy life and New York City.”

Texas Tech topped a No. 2-ranked team last January by defeating visiting West Virginia.

This is Duke’s fourth game against a team ranked in the top 15. That’s the most for any team nationally.

Duke and Texas Tech were both NCAA Tournament Elite Eight teams last season. They’ve never met in men’s basketball.

This week marks Duke’s 800th week all time in the Associated Press poll.

411Winners Pick and Prediction: Texas Tech +5.5 First Half

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