Bet Duke -16.5 over Georgia Tech in your NCAAB Picks

Willie Bee

Tuesday, January 7, 2014 1:45 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 1:45 PM UTC

Going into Cameron Indoor Stadium and beating the Duke Blue Devils is never easy, but it's going to be especially tough for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Tuesday.

Duke is coming off a loss in its conference opener at Notre Dame last Saturday, and losing consecutive ACC games is something of a rarity for the Blue Devils. You have to go back to Feb. 2009 to find the last time Mike Krzyzewski's crew dropped consecutive conference tilts, and Jan. 2007 to find the last time Duke started an ACC campaign with a pair of defeats.

If there's any good news to come from that for the Yellow Jackets, it's that they were the team to sink the Blue Devils to 0-2 at the outset of the ACC schedule six years ago.

ESPNU will broadcast the contest from Durham beginning at 7 PM (ET). Duke opened as 16.5 point chalk with no overnight movement to that number. No total has been released, so check back with SBR's live NCAA basketball odds to catch that figure.

Ramblin' Wreck Also Coming Off Conference Setback

When Georgia Tech (9-5 straight up, 3-5 against the spread) beat Duke in that 2007 contest to hand the Blue Devils consecutive losses to begin the conference slate, the game was played in Atlanta. The last time the Yellow Jackets won at Cameron was nearly 10 years ago, and Brian Gregory's group has not done well away from home so far this season.

Tuesday's matchup ends a long 4-game road trip for Georgia Tech that started before Christmas, and the Ramblin' Wreck is 1-2 in the previous three on this trek. Including their neutral-court contests, they're 2-4 overall outside of Atlanta.

The latest loss came Saturday at Maryland in both schools' conference lid-lifters. Getting 8.5 from the online sportsbooks, Georgia Tech dragged a 14-point deficit into halftime and never recovered in a 77-61 defeat. That final margin of victory for the Terrapins can be immediately found in a 30-15 scoring advantage over the Yellow Jackets from 3-point range.

About the only thing Georgia Tech does well is rebound. The Yellow Jackets have won the board battle in each of their first 14 games, and are 30th nationally pulling down rebounds at 40.1 per game.

But they will be missing their top glazer vs. Duke, and well into the future. Robert Carter Jr. (10.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg) is scheduled to undergo surgery on his left knee Tuesday, and that means Kammeon Holsey is going to have to pick his game up down in the paint.

Parker Suffers Off Game In ACC Debut

Going back to that 0-2 start to the 2007 ACC season, those two losses also marked the last time before this week that we saw Duke (11-3 SU, 8-6 ATS) outside the top 10 of the AP rankings. The Blue Devils would eventually fall completely out of both polls with an 8-8 conference record, and lose to 11th-seeded VCU in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The panic button hasn't been pushed yet in Durham despite the Blue Devils showing up 16th in the latest AP poll, and 13th according to the coaches. Duke squandered a 10-point advantage at Notre Dame with 11½ minutes left, scoring just four points to 20 for the Irish in an 8½ minute run.

Freshman phenom Jabari Parker had two of those four points, but otherwise experienced his worst game in a young -- and probably short -- collegiate career. He was on the bench in the final minutes after suffering a 2-of-10 shooting performance, and is just 7-of-18 from the field (1-of 6 3 pointers) in Duke's last two games.

Tech has won just five of its 37 games in Durham, and Duke has covered some pretty big home spreads in this series lately. I'm going to take a chance with the Dookies for my free NCAA basketball pick on Tuesday.

My pick: Duke -16.5


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