Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:00 PM EST.
7:00 PM EST. The Hurricanes are 13-3 after a 72-63 loss at Clemson, but the final results of that game do not tell the whole story. The 'Canes' shooting was putrid going just 38.1% from the field, 26.1% on threes, and 50% from the charity stripe. Miami could not buy a basket all night on the road and still hung around with the #17 ranked Tigers. One could not blame the Hurricanes for also looking ahead to this huge home game with the Dukies. While the state of Virginia is currently leading the ACC, the Blue Devils are still the biggest draw in the conference.
Certainly Duke is Duke, and it needs no introductions here, as they come into this game ranked #7 in the nation. That number is likely to rise when the new polls are released later today after a 2-0 week for Duke that ended with an 89-71 win and cover over Wake Forest as a 17-point favorite. While the win over the Demon Deacons was impressive, if you tuned into that game you'd know that a nasty virus was ripping its way through the Blue Devils' locker room. Patriarch, Mike Krzyzewski missed the contest, but not before infecting some of his team including guard Gary Trent Jr., who spent much of the game hovering over a bucket.
Being sick sucks. Being sick and having to travel with a group of people that are also sick is the worst. Duke might be near the top of most of the offensive categories out there, but the Hurricanes' defense is not the one you want to see if you're already feeling a little queasy. Miami ranks in the top five in America in scoring defense, field-goal defense, and three-point defense. It is because of the D that they did not get blown out in Clemson, but it's not often the 'Canes are going to be that cold on the offensive side of the ball.
Duke's last two wins have come by 35 and 18 points, which might make this line seem short, but the Blue Devils were -20 and -17 favorites over Pittsburgh and Wake respectively, so it's not like a pair of blowouts weren't expected. This Miami team is a big step up in competition, and the Dukies have been vulnerable on the road this season with losses to Boston College and NC State, both of which were double-digit dogs. If Duke is less than 100%, which is likely, it could be a long night at the Watsco Center against this very capable host. The 'Canes outright is the call.
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MIAMI +161 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.22)