Duke Blue Devils (15-2) vs Pittsburgh Panthers (12-6)Date : 01/22/2019
Time : 9:00 pm EST
Location : Peterson Event Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Duke Blue Devils vs Pittsburgh Panthers
The second-ranked team in the nation in the Duke Blue Devils will travel to Peterson Event Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to battle the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night at 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The Duke Blue Devils showed a healthy amount of confidence and resilience in their last matchup versus the Virginia Cavaliers as thet atoned for an overtime loss to the Syracuse Orange by picking up a slim two point victory at home over a tough, scrappy, and physical defense for the Cavaliers. And while Duke was horrible from three-point range in converting just two of 14 attempts, they shot a tad over 51% for the game as RJ Barrett along with Zion Williamson were the only two double-digit scores on the night as they ended with 30 and 27 points, respectively.
The Pittsburgh Panthers, on the other hand, are trending in different directions at this point as they lost their third game in five outings versus the Syracuse Orangemen on the road as Syracuse began to heat up during the second half as they outscored the visitors 46 – 38 during this time while shooting 47% from the game along with connecting on 12 3-pointers. And while the Orange gave up 11 3-pointers to Pittsburgh in this matchup, the Panthers shot just 33% from the floor led by Jared Wilson-Frame, who came off the bench to score 19 points while pull down eight rebounds in the loss.
Duke Blue Devils's Latest Performance :
As stated, these two players were the tip of the spear in Duke success in their last outing versus the Virginia Cavaliers as they scored 57 of Duke’s 72 points, overall. Most importantly, both players shot very efficiently from the field as Williamson went 10-16 on the night while Barrett finished at 11-19 from the floor. And while both teams shot horrible from three-point range in this context, they were able to make up for this on the offensive end as both teams shot over 51% from the floor on the night; Yet, the key to this game was the fact that the Blue Devils were able to get to the free-throw line twice as many times as in Virginia Cavaliers, despite making just 58% of these attempts on the night.
In all, Duke was able to slightly outrebound Virginia in this matchup as the Cavaliers and pride themselves on season on being able to win the rebounding battle on a nightly basis. In all, DeAndre Hunter led the team with 18 points while Kyle Guy chipped in 14 points in the loss for the Cavaliers. In all, Duke is on a high right now and despite giving up way to high of a shooting percentage to the struggling offense for Virginia in the last matchup, the Blue Devils continue to chip along and will certainly be looking to string together some victories after atoning for their loss to Syracuse, as pointed out.
Pittsburgh Panthers's Latest Performance :
Pittsburgh’s offense has always had trouble scoring throughout the season as this continues to be the reason as to why the Panthers have been unable to maintain momentum throughout this critical point in the season. This was also the case in their last outing versus the Syracuse Orange as after a very solid first half, the Panthers seemed to lose their way in the second half while being outscored 46 – 38 during this time while enduring yet another loss, their third straight road defeat. Wilson-Frame led the team with 19 points, as stated, while Xavier Johnson went 3-5 from three-point range while chipping in 17 points for the Panthers, as well.
On the other hand, while the Panthers were able to outrebound Syracuse in this contest, they committed 16 turnovers on the night while allowing the Orange to shoot 46% both from the field as well as from three-point range. Tyus Battle led Syracuse, once again, in the scoring department as he ended with 22 points while going 3-7 from long range. In all, Pittsburgh continues to lead with their defense on a nightly basis as they are allowing just 38% shooting to opponents per outing while posting an average of a tad less than 70 points per game.
And while they have certainly played better in their last two outings, the Panthers defense has allowed 80 or more points in three of their last five games, overall. Nonetheless, the Panthers are winners of four the last 5 games at Peterson Event Center as they will certainly look forward to the challenge of facing a Duke team that possesses, in my opinion, the most dominant 1-2 punch in college basketball in RJ Barrett along with Zion Williamson.
How Duke Blue Devils & Pittsburgh Panthers Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Duke is 10 – 7 ATS while the OU is 5 – 10
Pittsburgh is 13 – 4 – 1 ATS while the OU is 8 – 10
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
Look for this to be a very interesting ACC battle amongst these two teams as the Pittsburgh Panthers will look to rely on their defense in which to somehow limit the scoring opportunities for Barrett and Williamson for Duke in this contest on Tuesday night. On the other hand, they will also be looking to push the pace early and often while also relying on their defense to stifle an offense for Pittsburgh that continues to run into problems as it relates to scoring with any type of consistency.
Against The Spread Selection: Pick: Duke Blue Devils
My reason for the pick :
I will have to back the Blue Devils in this instance as while one can certainly expect Pittsburgh to enter this game looking to assert themselves on the defensive end early and often, the Blue Devils will begin to push the pace in this contest while catching the defense for Pittsburgh on its heels, more often than not. It is this philosophy that the Blue Devils will be getting to pull away from a dreary Pittsburgh Panthers squad that will have no ability to keep up with Duke, particularly with them being a less-than-average offensive team to begin with.
Totals Selection: Pick: Under
My reason for the prediction :
While I would say that both these team certainly have a strong defense, with the way Williamson and Barrett have played recently, look for the over to be the strong play in this contest as I see them taking advantage of Pittsburgh from the start due to their ability to push the pace effectively in which to obtain buckets in transition and/or score opportunities at the free-throw line. Of course, Pittsburgh will put some points on the board as well and will keep this game tight for a bit; However, it will be good to hit their stride at some point in this contest and will pull away. Despite this, look for the total to be surpassed in this ACC contest on Tuesday night.
Betting trends for Duke Blue Devils:
- The Blue Devils on 1-3 against the spread in last 4 games
- The under is 3-1-1 and Blue Devils last 5 games
Betting trends for Pittsburgh Panthers:
- The Panthers are 3-1 I guess to spread in last 4 games
- The over is 3 – 1 and Panthers last four games