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NCAA Basketball Picks January 14 – Syracuse at Duke Betting

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:
Jan/14/2019

It’s a rematch of last year’s Sweet 16 game between ACC rivals when the Syracuse Orange visit Cameron Indoor to take on the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils.


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While the memory of that narrow Duke win is still fresh, the team is vastly different. Led by the best crop of freshmen in the country, the Dookies have only one loss this season and they are coming off an inspiring road win over No. 13 Florida State when first-year player Cam Reddish knocked down a game-winning triple in the final second. That might be the closest thing to a loss the Devils will see the rest of the season, but they may have to beat the Orange without Zion Williamson.

Syracuse Orange at Duke Blue Devils

Date and Time: Monday, January 14, 2019, 7 p.m. ET

Location: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, NC

Opening CBB Odds: Duke -17

Syracuse at Duke TV Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

With the mighty Blue Devils on the horizon it’s quite possible Syracuse was looking beyond Georgia Tech, because there is simply no excuse to lose that game. The Orange allowed a bunch of easy shots, were dominated inside, and turned the ball over too many times, leading to a 73-59 loss to the Yellow Jackets.

The loss at home to GT snapped a four-game winning streak that included a nice road win at Notre Dame and a home win over Clemson preceding the Tech debacle. But it’s been a roller coaster season for Jim Boeheim and his clan. They’ve played just two true road games so far this season and that doesn’t bode well for the brutal schedule the ACC offers. That begins on Monday night against Duke. But those two road games produced wins over Ohio State and most recently the Irish. Those teams are not Duke, however.

Duke’s youngsters continued their march to March by sweeping the first road trip of the season, taking down Wake Forest and Florida State over the weekend. Returning home where they are 8-0 SU and 6-2 ATS, the Dookies are poised for another big win. They haven’t been favored by fewer than 14 points in any of their games at Cameron Indoor and six of those games had a final line of more than 20 points. The line for this one has yet to hit the board while oddsmakers waiting word of Williamson’s availability.

Syracuse

Unlike Duke, the Orange have a veteran group of players led by Tyus Battle. But that hasn’t helped this season with some up and down play. A top-20 club at the start of the season, Cuse opened with a pair of victories before losses to UConn and Oregon dropped them from the rankings. A five-game winning streak got them back on track, but again home losses to Old Dominion and Buffalo derailed any momentum they might have gained.

Battle is the guy for Syracuse and he just hasn’t been the same dynamic player he was last year. He leads the team in scoring with 17.1 points per game, but like the entire team, he’s struggled with his three-point shot. And since the Orange don’t have much of an inside game, if they struggle from behind the arc, they don’t have a lot of success. He’s made just 4 of 21 triples over the last six games and the Orange average just over 70 points per game.

Duke

We aren’t sure about the availability of Williamson after he was poked in the eye and left the Florida State game. Without their big man the Devils turned to their other rookies and they pulled out a stunning, 80-78, victory at Florida State. Reddish supplied the dagger with a game-winning three to finish with 23 points, but it was RJ Barrett who went off in the absence of Williamson.

Barrett hit 10 of 19 shots and 4 of 7 from deep for 32 points and the duo combined for 55 points, taking over for their fallen teammate. With so much attention going to Williamson this season, the other freshmen had something to prove, and they did. Duke can win without their man-child by still outscoring teams, but they may give up a little more on the inside.

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This is a huge game for Syracuse after their loss to GT put them in a big hole. The veteran team was given a chance in the conference at the start of the season, but the Orange have been too inconsistent offensively. They need to rely on playing defense more than ever and that helps if Williamson isn’t playing. Cuse will pack the zone and make Duke win this game over the top. Well, Duke can do just that. The Orange have a chance if they take the air out of the ball, but Duke is too athletic and they won’t allow that to happen.

CBB Score Prediction: Duke 78, Syracuse 62

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