Duke vs. Pittsburgh: Predictions, Odds, Best Bets (1/9/24)

Duke vs. Pittsburgh tips off this Tuesday (1/9/24) at 9:00pm EST in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania as a home game for the Panthers. Get Duke vs. Pittsburgh predictions and best bets below as our best bet is on Duke -4.5 as they take advantage of a hobbled Pittsburgh lineup.

Duke Vs. Pittsburgh Prediction

Things are looking up for the Duke Blue Devils after a sluggish start to the season, currently fitting the mold as a Kenpom National Contender per historic metrics. The Duke Blue Devils rank 14th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency while their Adjusted Defensive Efficiency clocks in at 23rd per Kenpom.

The increase in offensive efficiency is especially intriguing to see as they finished last year ranked 40th in that regard. They were a one-dimensional offense at that time, having everything run through star big man Kyle Filipowski which stagnated the offense. He has now received help on the offensive end with three other players averaging over 10 points per game.

Their improved offensive level of play will be needed in order to cover their spread as they face a Pittsburgh defense who ranks 47th in AdjD. This is in large part of their ability to lock up the perimeter, holding opposing offenses to a lowly 26.9% from deep which is the sixth best rate in the nation per TeamRankings. While that is an impressive feat in its own right, the issue for Pitt is that their defense takes a drop when defending inside the perimeter. They rank 119th, allowing opposing offenses to convert at a 48.7% clip inside the arc.

That spells potential doom against a Duke unit that still builds their offensive production from inside the arc. Kyle Filipowski is a stretch big and can burn opposing defenders from both the perimeter and the block. With the Pitt defenders stretched out, Filipowski now has more room to work with as he drives to the basket. That gives Duke higher quality scoring opportunities, setting a scoring pace too fast for the Pitt offense to keep up with. The Panthers rank 72nd in AdjO.

Duke Vs. Pittsburgh Prediction: Duke -4.5

Duke Vs. Pittsburgh Best Odds

With an offense capable of taking advantage of a stretched-out defense, oddsmakers have Duke pegged as a road favorite by opening them at -5. Bettors have yet to take a firm stand on either side of the number, keeping the spread relatively the same across most books. Some sportsbooks have dipped to -4.5 while others have gone up to -5.5 as of writing.

As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a moderate pace as oddsmakers opened the number at 146. Like the spread, bettors have yet to take a firm stand on either side of the total and have kept the number the same since the opener. The under shows some potential value as Duke reverts to dominating inside the arc while Pitt’s offense struggles with consistency.

Duke Vs. Pittsburgh Key Matchups

Can Duke’s guards continue to give Filipowski the help he needs on the offensive end?

Duke’s guards Vs. Pitt Perimeter Defense

As noted earlier, Duke’s offensive scheme will revolve around Filipowski commanding defensive attention inside the arc. Especially if he takes advantage of the stretched-out defense early on, getting to attack the interior with singular coverage as an elite finisher at the rim.

Once Pitt’s defense decides to sag back in order to throw help side coverage at the star center, it will be up to Duke’s guards to take advantage and continue on the scoring pace. Expect Jeremy Roach and Jared McCain to exploit the gaps in the perimeter as both convert their three-point attempts at over 43% from deep. Roach also plays as a slashing guard, being able to find the gap in coverage and run down to an open spot with Filipowski being a capable passer as well.

North Carolina Sports Betting Update

North Carolina sports betting is currently legal and expected to go live ahead of the 2024 March Madness tournament. Though a launch date hasn’t been formally set, Gov. Roy Cooper set June 14, 2024 as a hard deadline for the launch of online operators. Once sports betting is live and up and running, North Carolina residents will be able to take advantage of new user bonuses like a 20% deposit match up to $1,000 from DraftKings North Carolina and a $1,000 first bet offer from Caesars Sportsbook to wager on everything from college basketball to the NFL.

For up-to-date North Carolina sports betting coverage — including the best new user promo codes, check out the “NC Sports Betting” tab on Lineups.

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Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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