Duke Blue Devils (26-5) vs. Syracuse Orange (20-12)
College Basketball: Thursday, March 14, at 9 PM ET (Spectrum Center)
Spread: Duke -11 Over/Under: 143.5
Draftkings Picks Duke Blue Devils vs. Syracuse Orange
Some ACC Tournament action with 3rd ranked Duke taking on 6th ranked Syracuse. Syracuse struggled, winning only two of their last five games. They did pick it up in their last game and beat Pitt by a large margin. Duke has had their struggles without Zion Williamson and they dropped two games in their final five of the season.
Duke was 26-5 on the season and 14-4 against conference opponents. Duke is led by three amazing freshman RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish. Barrett is Duke’s leading scorer averaging 23.4 PPG as well as 7.5 RPG. Williamson is Duke’s second-leading scorer averaging 21.6 PPG and 8.8 RPG. Reddish is the third leading scorer averaging 14.3 PPG. After these three freshmen, the scoring averages go into single digits. Duke relies heavily on these freshmen to carry the bulk of the scoring load. Zion Williamson is probable for the game today and most likely will be playing.
Duke played Syracuse twice during the season. The first matchup was a loss and the second was a win. In the second matchup, Syracuse came out ready to take on Duke and they led by five points heading into the half. In the second half, Syracuse faltered and Duke took advantage, outscoring them by 15 in the second half. Duke took the win by 10, 75-65. A huge reason for the Duke win was RJ Barrett, he scored 30 points and dished out 7 assists. He made 14 of Duke’s 26 made baskets, which is over half. He was the spark for the win. Another deciding factor was field goal percentage, Duke took fewer shots and made a higher percentage. They shot 44 percent from field and 31 from three, while Syracuse shot 34 percent from the field and 21 percent from three. It really came down to the fact that Duke took more efficient shots and forced Syracuse to take contested shots. In the matchup today things may be a little different if Zion Williamson comes back. Syracuse will have to worry about not only RJ Barrett scoring at a high level but Zion Williamson as well. If Duke wants to get the win they will have to be patient on offense. They are not a great three point shooting team and they shouldn’t settle for those shots. They should look to be aggressive and get to the paint. If Zion Williamson sits again this game they will also have to focus on rebounding and making sure they win the battle on the boards.
Syracuse was 20-12 and 10-8 against conference opponents. Syracuse is led by junior guard, Tyus Battle who is averaging 17.2 PPG. Battle has been struggling with a hip injury and is listed as probable for the game. Elijah Hughes, junior forward who averages 13.5 PPG and 4.3 RPG. As well as sophomore forward, Oshae Brissett who is averaging a little over 12 PPG. Brissett is also the leading rebounder with 7.5 per game.
Syracuse took the win in the first matchup against Duke, 95-91. Duke was ranked 1st at the time. It was a very close game throughout and it led to an exciting overtime thriller where Syracuse got the best of Duke. Syracuse won mainly because they forced Duke to take threes. Duke shot 9-43 from three and Duke has struggled all season making their threes. Syracuse read the scouting report and forced Duke to make threes and they just couldn’t do it. They also played great individual defense on RJ Barrett who shot 8-30 from the field. If Syracuse wants to repeat this performance they will have to take away the driving lane for Duke and force them to beat them from the three. It is Duke’s biggest weakness and if they can’t hit their threes Syracuse should be able to get the win.
Cover The Spread 365 Betting Trends
Duke Blue Devils
Duke is 21-4 SU in its last 25 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Duke’s last 6 games
Duke is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Syracuse
Syracuse is 14-7 ATS in its last 21 games
Syracuse is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Duke
Syracuse is 3-6 SU in its last 9 games when playing Duke
FanDuel Picks Syracuse Orange vs. Duke Blue Devils
This game should be a fun one to watch. The season series was a tie, 1-1 and both teams know the strength and weaknesses of each other and they will try to use them to their advantage. The injuries of Zion Williamson and Tyus Battle can affect the game, especially for Syracuse. Both are listed as probable, so most likely we will see them on the court. Syracuse executed their plan flawlessly is their first matchup against Duke and if they can do it again then there might just be an upset in the making. Realistically though I don’t think they will be able to best Duke in the same way. Expect Duke to get the win and advance in the tournament.