January 22, 2014

Basketball Pick: Duke vs. Miami

Matchup: Duke Blue Devils vs. Miami Hurricanes

Date/Time: January 22nd, 7:30 ET

Television: ESPN2

College Basketball Odds from WagerWeb

Point Spread: Off

Total: Off

There will be an upset bid on the line in ACC college basketball action as the Miami Hurricanes play host to the Duke Blue Devils on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 inside the BankUnited Center. Miami will be trying to get its first win over a ranked opponent this season.

Duke comes into this game having gotten a nice win on Saturday 95-60 over the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Cameron Indoor Stadium to preserve its ranking in the Top 25. Freshman F Jabari Parker torched the Wolfpack for 23 points, seven rebounds, three steals, and one assist in the win. Parker was coming off a game against the Virginia Cavaliers where he scored just eight points, well below his 19.1 season average. The Blue Devils turned in an impressive performance on the defensive end Saturday forcing N.C. State into 21 turnovers including 14 steals. Duke is scoring 82.6 points per game this season which is good for 19th in the country, but it had not reached its season average in the last five contests leading up to Saturday’s 95 point explosion. Coming into play on Wednesday, the Blue Devils have yet to cover a spread on the road at 0-2 ATS so far. In its last meeting with Miami, Duke was able to escape with a 79-76 win on March 2nd, 2013 on its home floor.

Miami is coming off a big 56-42 win over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on its home court Saturday. In spite of the fact that they are only sporting a 2-3 record in conference play, the Hurricanes have the ninth-ranked scoring defense nationally giving up just 58.5 points per game. In its five conference games, Miami has given up just 54.4 points per game including 49.5 in its two wins. The defensive effort has been led by 6’9” senior F Donnavan Kirk who is averaging 2.2 blocks and 6.7 rebounds per game for the Hurricanes. It is difficult to even talk about Miami at the offensive end with just one-player currently averaging double figures in scoring this season. That player is senior G Rion Brown who puts up 14.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per contest. In the Canes’ last home game, Brown scored his season-high for points at home with 21 in a 63-53 loss to the Florida State Seminoles. The Hurricanes have been downright awful on their home floor with a 6-5 SU record including bad losses to the UCF Knights and St. Francis (NY) Terriers. Miami is just 1-4 ATS in its home games so something will have to give in this contest.

Prediction:

The Blue Devils are 10-8 ATS this season and are looking for their first road cover of the year against the Hurricanes. We expect to see Duke struggle early to figure out a Miami defense that is shutting down opposing teams in the ACC, but look for the Durham boys to get it going in the second half. Despite its road struggles ATS, look for Duke to get on the board with its first road cover. Duke 70 – Miami 55

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Adam Markowitz

is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.

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