Syracuse Orange vs. Duke Blue Devils Pick-Odds-Prediction 2/1/14
Duke Blue Devils (17-4) at Syracuse Orange (20-0)
College Basketball: Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 6:30 pm (Carrier Dome)
The Line: Syracuse Orange -4.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Duke Blue Devils travel to Syracuse to play the Orange on Saturday.
Duke improved to 17-4, 6-2 ACC after beating Pittsburgh on the road 80-65 on Monday night. Duke shot an outstanding 48.3% from the field and 52% from three-point range. The Blue Devils reached the free throw line 15 times and made 73.3% of their attempts. Jabari Parker led the way again for Duke, scoring a team-high 21 points and grabbing a team-high 11 rebounds. Parker now has 12 career 20-point games, breaking a tie with Gene Banks for the most in Duke history. On the year, Parker averages a team-high 18.7 points and 8 rebounds, while Rodney Hood averages 17.7 points and Quinn Cook averages a team-high 5.5 assists per game. The Blue Devils are averaging 81.6 points per game while shooting 47.2% from the field. Duke has won 4 straight ACC games after a sluggish start. Defense and rebounding have keyed the turnaround; they finished with 26 offensive rebounds against Florida State two games ago, their most in a game since 2004. It seems as though Duke has hit its stride and is playing their best basketball of the season right now. The Blue Devils have won five straight and two of those wins came on the road. Duke will head out on the road again for Saturday’s game; the Blue Devils are 2-2 on the road this season.
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Syracuse improved to 20-0, 7-0 ACC after beating Wake Forest 67-57 on Wednesday night. Syracuse shot only 36.2% from the field and 21.4% from behind the arc. The Orange managed to get to the free throw line 33 times and made only 66.7% of their attempts. Tyler Ennis led the Orange with 18 points and 4 assists. Jerami Grant finished with 10 points and a team-high 12 rebounds for Syracuse. On the season, Fair leads the Orange with 16.6 points per game. Grant is averaging 12.7 points per game and a team-high 6.6 rebounds per contest. Trevor Cooney is averaging 13.5 points per game, while Tyle Ennis averages a team-high 5.4 assists per game. Syracuse averages 71.6 points per game while shooting 46% from the field as a team this season. Syracuse outscores its opponents by an ACC-high 11.4 points per game in the paint this season. The Orange are just average when it comes to distributing the ball on offense and rebounding. However, Syracuse rebounds 40% of its missed shots, the best offensive-rebounding percentage in the ACC and 13th best in the country. Syracuse will head home for this game; the Orange beat Pittsburgh by 5 and UNC by 12 in their last two home games.
This will be the best and most anticipated matchup of the weekend by far. Duke has turned the corner and is playing extremely well right now. Meanwhile, this is the second Syracuse team to ever win their first 20 games of the season. I think this game will come down to two factors: 1) how well can Duke rebound against Syracuse on both ends of the floor, and 2) can Duke knock down their shots from the outside. If Duke can do those two things well I think they will win this game. However, if the Blue Devils struggle to hit open three-pointers and settle for one shot on the offensive end, they will be in big trouble at Syracuse. I think this game will come down to the wire and Duke will have a solid chance of handing Syracuse their first loss of the year.