NCAAB Pick: Duke -4 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
- Duke -4 (-110)
- Under 145 (-110)
When Duke visited NC State earlier this season, the Blue Devils played one of their worst games of the year. Expect a big difference Tuesday in the rematch from Durham in ACC action.
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NC State Wolfpack vs. Duke Blue Devils
Tuesday, February 28, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at Cameron Indoor Stadium
ESPN has this ACC matchup between NC State and Duke because ESPN televises just about every Duke game. The Wolfpack go for the rare season sweep.
On Jan. 4, they were 5.5-point home underdogs at the top-rated books but won handily 84-60.
That was only Duke’s second true road game of the season, and Coach Jon Scheyer’s young team looked simply overwhelmed from the get-go in trailing 15-0 out of the gate. Frankly, the game was over then.
It was the largest margin of victory for an unranked ACC team over a ranked Duke team in Blue Devil history. NC State turned 21 Duke turnovers into 30 points as the Pack enjoyed a 30-2 advantage in points off turnovers. Terquavion Smith led the Wolfpack in scoring with 24 points, while Jarkel Joiner added 21. The only Duke starter with more than six points was Kyle Filipowski with 14.
The home team is 4-1 ATS against NCAAB odds in the past five meetings.
Duke leads the all-time series 150-103 and has won three straight at home in the series where it is 66-30 all-time (53-26 at Cameron Indoor).
Wolfpack Likely Down Clark Again
NC State (22-8, 12-7 ACC) cannot finish in the top four of the ACC regular-season standings and earn a double-bye in the conference tournament as this is the Pack’s regular-season finale.
They come off a terrible effort, losing 96-71 in their home finale against Clemson on Feb. 25 on Senior Day. The Tigers shot 59.6 overall and 62.1 percent in the first half. It was 54-29 at the half and already over.
D.J. Burns led NC State with 24 points. Jarkel Joiner added 16 while Casey Morsell finished with 11 and Terquavion Smith added 10. The Wolfpack played without forward Jack Clark due to a shoulder injury, and he’ll be a game-time call here. The senior averages 8.9 points and 7.0 rebounds and also missed the first Duke game with a different injury. I doubt he plays so the team can rest him up for the ACC Tournament.
Gearing Up for the Big Show
NC State will be in the NCAA Tournament regardless. ESPN has Coach Kevin Keatts’ team as a No. 8 seed in the Midwest Region and opening against No. 9 Rutgers, while CBS Sports has the Pack as a No. 9 in the South and facing No. 8 Iowa. The Wolfpack’s 22 wins are their most in the regular season since the 1987-88 team entered the ACC Tournament with a 23-6 record. The 12 ACC wins are tied for the most.
With a win on Tuesday, NC State would finish with a 5-1 record against the Big Four also in the state (Duke, North Carolina, NC State, and Wake Forest). The Wolfpack haven’t won five conference regular season games against its Big Four counterparts since the 1974-75 team went 5-1. In all Big Four games this season, the home team is 9-1.
In the first 28 games of the season, NC State only allowed one team to score 40 or more points in the first half. However, the past two have done so in Wake Forest and Clemson. NC State is 19-1 this season when it has the halftime lead and 3-7 when trailing.
Smith (17.2 ppg.), Joiner (16.8 ppg.), and Burns (16.2) lead NC State in scoring. In the Pack’s 19 ACC games, one of the three has led NC State in scoring in every game. The Wolfpack are 5-11 ATS in their last 16 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Duke Eyes Unbeaten Home Slate
Duke (21-8, 12-6 ACC) can finish in the Top 4 of the ACC regular-season standings and earn the double-bye but needs to win out and likely get help. This is the Blue Devils’ home finale and they close per usual at rival North Carolina on Saturday.
The young Dukies have followed a two-game losing streak with four straight wins following an 81-65 home win over Virginia Tech on Saturday. All five Duke starters scored at least 10 points for the second consecutive game – the first time that has happened since 2016.
Roach Leading the Way
Jeremy Roach led the Blue Devils for the third consecutive game with 19 points and had his first career double-double with a career-high 11 assists. Roach is averaging 14.4 points in 11 games since returning from injury.
Duke outrebounded Virginia Tech, 37-26, the 24th time Duke has had a rebounding advantage this season. It is 20-4 in those games. The Blue Devils have 76 assists and a 2.1 assist/turnover ratio over their four-game winning streak. They are shooting is shooting .507 from the field and .395 from three-point range in that span.
You don’t normally equate Duke with defense, but it allows just 63.9 points, second in the ACC. The Blue Devils have held 25 of 29 opponents below their season scoring average (21-4 in those games).
Picks and Prediction
Jon Scheyer now holds the Duke record for most wins by a first-year head coach.
The Dukies are 15-0 at Cameron Indoor, giving Scheyer the ACC record for longest home winning streak by a first-year head coach. Duke is 13-1 overall with its full scholarship roster available as it should be Tuesday. The loss was in overtime at Virginia.
While Duke allowed 84 points in the first meeting, I expect a lot less from NC State in this one as the Blue Devils are much better defensively at home (and overall).
The under is also 7-2 in the Wolfpack’s past nine on the road.
Score Prediction: Duke 74 – NC State 69
NCAAB Pick: Duke -4 (-110) at BetOnline
NCAAB Pick: Under 145 (-110) at BetOnline
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