A defensive struggle should be expected when the No. 9 Duke Blue Devils (16-3, 6-2 ACC) and the Pittsburgh Panthers (13-7, 4-5 ACC) square off at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The game can be seen on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 28, 2020.
Duke opened as a 16.5-point favorite, while the Over/Under (O/U) for the game has been set at 137.5 points at William Hill Sportsbook.
Pittsburgh Panthers at Duke Blue Devils ATS Prediction
The last time the Panthers played, they were beaten by the Syracuse Orange, 69-61, and were not able to cover as 6-point underdogs. The game’s combined points (130) were just under the projected point total of 131. Syracuse’s offensive rebounding percentage was their largest advantage over Pittsburgh. The Orange had a rate of 28.6 (below their season average of 29.1), while the Panthers posted a mark of 21.6 (below their season average of 33.5). Justin Champagnie led Pittsburgh in scoring with 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting.
The Blue Devils had no trouble getting past the Miami (FL) Hurricanes in their last matchup, 89-59, comfortably covering as 19-point favorites. The game’s combined points (148) came in just over the O/U total of 147. Duke’s 0.617 effective field goal percentage was their largest strength over Miami (FL), who had a mark of 0.333. The Blue Devils’ mark was above their season average of 0.540, while the Hurricanes’ was below their season average of 0.514. Matthew Hurt was the game’s leading scorer with 22 points on 8-for-11 shooting from the field.
This contest should be a showdown of opposite paces. Duke prefers an up-tempo style of play (44th in possessions per game), while Pittsburgh is methodical (334th in possessions per game).
Pittsburgh comes into the game with records of 13-7 straight up (SU) and 10-10 against the spread (ATS). Games involving the Panthers have a tendency to go under the total (55.0 percent).
Meanwhile, Duke is 16-3 SU and 11-8 ATS. Contrary to Pittsburgh, games involving the Blue Devils have typically finished over the O/U total (68.4 percent).
After the Blue Devils won the sole contest against the Panthers last season, 79-64, these teams will battle for the first time this year. The Blue Devils had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (41.0 vs. 32.4) and had a better turnover percentage (15.0 vs. 18.5).
Pittsburgh Panthers at Duke Blue Devils Free Pick
Pick: ATS Winner – Pittsburgh, O/U – Over
Duke ranks seventh in three pointers allowed per game (15.9) while Pittsburgh ranks 157th (22.3).
Duke is 6-6 ATS at home, while Pittsburgh is 4-3 ATS on the road.
Over its last five contests, Pittsburgh is 2-3 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs.
Duke is 2-3 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under over its last five games.
The Panthers have been outscored by an average of 1.0 point in their last five games. On the season, Pittsburgh has defeated opponents by an average of 4.3 points.
During their last five games, the Blue Devils have scored an average of 79.4 points per game (3.5 below their season average) and allowed an average of 68.0 points per game (4.1 above their season average).