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Syracuse Looks to Strengthen NCAA Tournament Resume With Win Over Duke as 6.5 Point Home Underdogs

Vernon Carey JR & Coach K talking on the sideline
Vernon Carey JR and the Duke Blue Devils are in Syracuse to battle the Orange. Photo by SneakinDeacon (Wikimedia).
  • Duke has won four out of their last five matchups against Syracuse
  • Will Syracuse be able to stump Duke at the Carrier Dome and give them their third in-conference loss?
  • Road team is 3-0-1 ATS in their last four meetings – check our betting prediction below

The #9 Duke Blue Devils (17-3, 4-1 Away) will march into the Carrier Dome to take on the Syracuse Orange (13-8, 9-4 Home)  February 1 at 8pm ET.

Syracuse lost a nail-biter to the Clemson Tigers 71-70 in their last game. The Blue Devils dominated Pittsburgh 79-67 in their last game, despite Coach K losing his marbles on the Duke student section. Will Coach K be ready for the Syracuse hecklers at the Carrier Dome?

In the Duke vs Syracuse odds, the Blue Devils are 6.5-point favorites. Syracuse could revive their 2020 NCAA tournament odds with an upset win over Duke.

#9 Duke vs Syracuse Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Duke -6.5 (-115) -300 O 148.0 (-110)
Syracuse +6.5 (-105) +250 U 148.0 (-110)

Odds taken February 1*

Syracuse’s Team

Syracuse had their five-game win streak broken against Clemson 71-70 last week. Despite that loss, the Orange have dominated recent conference play, beating the likes of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Syracuse has been great on the offensive side of the ball this season. The Orange have scored 70-plus points in four out of their last five games. According to the KenPom Ratings, Syracuse has the 18th best offense in the country.

This powerful offensive attack is led by Elijah Hughes and Buddy Boeheim. These two average a combined 35.7 points per game, which is almost half of their team total of 73.2 points per game. Hughes, averaging 19.3 points per game, has scored 20-plus points in two out of their last three contests.

Their defense has not been their strong suit, but it has improved throughout the progression of the season. They have allowed 65 points per game in their last seven games. This is a huge improvement from the beginning of the season, considering they allowed teams to score over 80 points five times this year, but just once in the last month.

Duke’s Fire

After Coach K absolutely lost it on the Duke fans against Pittsburgh earlier this week, the Blue Devils have to turnaround and take on a tough Syracuse team. This fire from Coach K might be what Duke needs to bounce back from some shaky conference play.

Duke took down Miami and Pittsburgh in a dominating fashion in their last two games. Before that, they had back-to-back losses to Louisville and Clemson. Despite these losses, the KenPom Ratings have Duke’s offense at fifth in the country.

Duke’s offense has been led by freshman Vernon Carey Jr. The 6’10”, 270-pound center is averaging 17.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Guard Tre Jones has also been a crucial player in the Blue Devil’s offensive approach, as he is averaging 14.9 points and 6.8 assists per game.

One surprise player has been a star against Syracuse in the past. Junior guard Alex O’Connell has been lethal from beyond the arc against the Orange.

Duke’s defense has seen a resurgence since their two losses. Duke allowed 67 points against Pittsburgh and conceded just 59 points to Miami. According to the KenPom Ratings, the Blue Devils have the seventh-best defense in the country.

What’s the Bet?

Duke is 4-1 against Syracuse in their last five matchups. However, Syracuse has the advantage against the spread, covering three out of their last five meetings.

Duke will come into this one fired up after Coach K yelled at the Duke fans for heckling Pittsburgh head coach Jeff Capel, who used to coach and play at Duke.

The highlighted trends in this matchup lean in Duke’s favor. Duke is 4-1 ATS in their last five games following an ATS loss. They are also 4-0 ATS in their last four road games following three or more consecutive home games, which means they have been able to start road trips off well.

Syracuse is 0-4 ATS in their last four games as home underdogs. Moreover, they are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games against a team with a winning record. Lastly, the road team is 3-0-1 ATS in their last four matchups against each other.

Although Syracuse has been playing great basketball recently, Duke is coming off two big momentum wins. Duke is starting a three-game road trip against Syracuse, and with Coach K’s outburst last game they are going to want to start strong.

Best Bet: Duke -6.5 (-115)

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