College Basketball Betting Preview: Duke Blue Devils vs. Syracuse Orange – February 22, 2021

The Duke Blue Devils will host the Syracuse Orange on Monday evening just two days after landing their biggest win of the season over No. 7 Virginia. Duke is now 10-8 overall on the season and has won three consecutive games since freshman Jalen Johnson decided to leave the team. Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s team now boasts an 8-6 record in league play.

The Orange have also won three consecutive games after their victory over Notre Dame on Saturday. Syracuse was able to put a notch in the left column despite super sophomore Quincy Guerrier having an off-game. Syracuse currently sits at 13-6 overall on the season and 7-5 in league play.

Bovada has the Blue Devils favored by five at home, with the total set at 150 points. The scheduled tip time is 7 pm ET from Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Syracuse Betting Preview

Syracuse has quietly been a very good team over the past couple of weeks, having won six of its last eight games. Guerrier has been playing like an All-ACC player, while Allen Griffin has been able to effectively fill in for last season’s leading scorer, Elijah Hughes.

The Orange boast three players that average at least 15 points per game and rank in the top 35 in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency.

Syracuse is just 2-5 straight-up in true road games this season and 8-11 against the spread overall. It is just 1-4 straight-up as the dog.

The defense falls off on the road as well, as Syracuse has gone over the total in six of its seven true road games on the season.

Duke Betting Preview

The Blue Devils look like a completely different team without Johnson. It may seem silly to say, but the loss of Johnson looks like addition by subtraction. That is very interesting, considering Johnson is likely an NBA lottery selection.

The Blue Devils are once again a solid offensive team, but it’s their defense, or lack thereof, that is getting them into trouble this season. In years past, Krzyzewski has been able to pull his young teams together and scheme up something that works whether it be a zone or pressing.

Right now, the Blue Devils rank 275th in the nation defensive effective field-goal percentage and 318th in the nation in defending the arc. Opponents are shooting an almost ridiculous 37.8% from behind the arc against Duke and nearly 51% from two.

Duke is just 6-12 against the spread on the season and just 3-8 ATS at home. As the favorite, the Blue Devils are 9-7 overall.

At home, the total has gone over in seven of their 11 games, and they have hit the over in five of their last six contests.

The Pick

Syracuse might be the better team overall, but Duke is seemingly finding itself at the moment. The number feels a little bit too big as this game should be really close throughout.

Duke is going to have to defend the three-point line effectively in this game, or Griffin, Buddy Boeheim and Joseph Girard III will eat them up from deep. Duke will pull this game out at home, but Syracuse will cover the five points. Take the over.

Spooky Express Free Pick: Syracuse +5

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