An ACC matchup between two teams clawing to win the ACC gets underway between the Miami Hurricanes and the Duke Blue Devils. Both teams have been in the rankings at one point and Duke even started the year within the top 5. They now see themselves out of the AP polls which is uncommon for the Blue Devils as they enter this new era under head coach Jon Scheyer. There weren’t many seasons under Coach K that saw this team outside of the rankings, but this team certainly has the talent to get back at the top of ACC pecking order with the amount of talent brought in and already within the program.
The Hurricanes also had a hot start to the season and are currently 17th in the AP polls with a 15-3 record. They are currently second in the ACC with losses coming to North Carolina State and Wake Forest. They enter this game after a big win against Syracuse which will certainly set them up for a game against the Blue Devils that could certainly boost their conference title chances with a victory. It’s a long season but Miami has looked like they have a great chance at making a tourney run with the way they’ve played and will give Duke all they can handle as the Blue Devils try to bounce back from a Clemson loss. Let’s jump into this game’s picks and predictions:
Miami vs. Duke Betting Odds
There are no betting odds currently out just yet but it is easy to speculate on where they might be placed. Miami does enter this game as the ranked team but it’s important to keep in mind this is a home game for Duke and Cameron Indoor Stadium is notoriously one of the hardest places to play in the country for opposing teams. Duke also only has two more losses than Miami in this matchup, despite not being ranked. I suspect Duke to enter this game as a favorite as it is hard for people to suspect Duke to lose two straight games in ACC play considering they came into this season with the top-ranked recruiting class. The spread line will be a close one, around 4 points I would project considering Miami has shown they can play well against talented teams and win close games. ESPN Analytics currently gives Duke a 72.8% to come out victorious in this matchup. We can look at Kenpom’s analytical rankings as well in which Duke outranks Miami. Duke currently ranks at 29th while Miami is currently listed all the way back at 43rd, despite being top-25 in AP polls.
There are no over/under totals but based upon these teams scoring averages, we can estimate the line. Miami is currently averaging 78.4 PPG while also allowing other teams to score 69.9 PPG on average. On the other hand, Duke is averaging 72.2 PPG and allowing 63.4. Expect this line to be placed around 135 or 140.
Miami vs. Duke Picks & Predictions
My pick: Duke ML
It’s hard to go against Duke at home and think they have a big win at home to get their confidence back and their season on track. They did hit a bit of a dry spell recently but I still think this Duke team is one of the more talented teams in the country and will certainly give Miami and other ACC teams a run for their money in conference play. What will be key for them is unlocking players their freshman Derrick Lively who was the number one recruit yet is only averaging 3.9 PPG. Duke is currently led in scoring by Kyle Filipowski and Jeremy Roach. Freshman Dariq Whitehead was also brought in at the top of the recruiting boards and is averaging 8.1 PPG so if he can start producing more this team will be scary. Defensively, they will need to be able to contain Isaiah Wong who is the commander of this Miami team and will certainly be a contender for ACC Player of the Year. He is currently averaging 16.7 PPG with a 45.5 FG%. Being able to slow him down is key for a victory at home. This is a vital game for new head coach Jon Scheyer, who needs to prove he isn’t in over his head with this new role and replacing a legend such as Coach K.
I expect this to be a big time offensive matchup in typical ACC fashion. It depends where the line is placed but I suspect this total to be close to around 145 or 150. If the line is placed around 135, I would take the over.
Kyle Filipowski vs. Miami
Kyle Filipowski has been the Blue Devils’ bread and butter so far this season with averaging 14.9 PPG and 9.2 RPG. He has been great downlow for this Duke team and certainly needs to keep it up as they continue through their ACC schedule as many teams have great big men. If he can control the paint for Duke and keep Miami from controlling offensive possessions, Duke has a great chance at winning in front of the Cameron crazies.