Will Coach K’s Absence Affect Duke’s Sportsbook Odds?

Posted by: Anthony Yaylor
Will Coach K’s Absence Affect Duke’s Sportsbook Odds?

There’s no doubt a great coach will go a long way for your team, and there’s no dubiety that Mike Krzyzewski is the greatest coach in NCAA basketball betting. Coach K is tied with Adolph Rupp for most national championships with 4 and most sportsbook fans are expecting Krzyzewski to surpass Rupp sometime in the near future. In fact, the Duke Blue Devils entered this year’s season with the greatest odds of winning this year’s national championship. Take a look.


Duke Blue Devils +460

Kansas Jayhawks +910

Kentucky Wildcats +710

UCLA Bruins +610

The basketball betting odds are likely favoring the Blue Devils so heavily because of a combination of both Krzyzewski’s irrefutable talents as a head coach and Duke’s impressive recruitment class.  Several big name recruits were snatched up by Duke but there’s no doubt the class was highlighted by 6’11 Marques Bolden, a center out of Texas. Duke, and most of the NCAA basketball betting community, was expecting these recruits to fall under the leadership of Grayson Allen, an All-ACC selection. However, instead of being a leader for the Blue Devil’s new additions, Allen elected to continue his tripping antics.

Allen has a storied reputation for tripping, so it wasn’t at all surprising to see the youngster draw a technical in the Blue Devils’ contest against Elon on December 21st. That trip marked his third recent offense after Allen tripped up players from Louisville and Florida State last season. After the game against Elon, much to the surprise of the sportsbook betting community, Duke announced that Allen would be suspended indefinitely. In the end, all that meant was that Allen would be missing one game, a contest which Duke would end up losing.

Without Allen in the lineup, the Blue Devils fell apart against Virginia Tech and succumbed to the Hokies 89-75. Afterwards, Coach K and his infinite wisdom decided to reinstate Allen in the very next game. Duke faced the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and since Allen was back on the court, the Blue Devils had no problem delivering a 110-57 NCAA basketball betting beat down.

Obviously, Coach K took some heat for reinstating Allen so quickly, especially since he committed such an unsportsmanlike foul. However, given Krzyzewski’s recent back surgery, the move makes a bit of sense. Coach K is expected to miss 4 weeks while he recovers from his surgery. During that time interim coach Jeff Capel will be stepping in to lead the Blue Devils in Coach K’s absence. Krzyzewski got a good look at how Duke would fare without Allen in the mix and ultimately decided that his team would be infinitely better off with Allen reinstated.

Coach K decided to make that call before he left so Capel wouldn’t have to deal with such a sticky situation. The Blue Devils will have a hard enough time winning games without their head coach – no doubt the sportsbook odds will reflect this – so they indubitably need all the help they can get.