Home Dog Georgia Tech Is Our NCAA Basketball Pick Over Duke

Mark Lathrop

Tuesday, February 2, 2016 12:25 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016 12:25 PM UTC

Duke is coming to meet Georgia Tech after losing four of five for the first time in almost a decade. Will they be able to cover or should we go the other way for our NCAA basketball picks?

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Georgia Tech +3.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle


Duke vs. Georgia Tech Odds Overview
Will Duke have 6 more weeks of what has been a long winter for them, or will spring come early for the Blue Devils on Groundhog’s Day? We will find out a little bit of that story as the Duke Blue Devils (15-6, 4-4) go on the road to visit the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (12-9, 2-6) in an ACC matchup on Tuesday night. Duke finds themselves out of the polls for the first time in 9 years coming into this game, which doesn’t matter much for bettors, but obviously hurts the ego of some folks in the Carolina’s. The line on this game is currently sitting with the Duke Blue Devlls favored on the road at 3.5 points. The NCAA basketball odds boards has opened the total at 153 at sites such as Bookmaker.

The line has already experienced some heavy movement in the direction of Duke, as early betting swung the line from -1.5 to -3.5 in the matter of three hours at Heritage. I guess those early bettors are betting on a bounce back effort from the Blue Devils.


Game Overview
At 4-4 in conference play, Duke is sitting at 9th place in the ACC. The Blue Devils are coming off of an 80-69 at the hands of the 15th ranked Miami Hurricane in Miami. That game was a microcosm of what has gone wrong with Duke’s season this year, and this game focuses on their problem of a lack of depth on their bench. Only six players played for Duke in the game against Miami, save for a two-minute stint by true freshman, Chase Jeter. That is compared to eight players who played significant minutes for Miami in the game. At the end of the day, the Duke defense wore down and allowed Miami to shoot greater than 50% from the field in the losing effort.

Georgia Tech has a much deeper rotation than Duke does at the moment, and although that doesn’t mean they are winning more games, it does mean that a player can foul out of a game and not completely wipe out the team. This logically allows a team to play a different, or more aggressive, style of defense. In Georgia Tech’s last game, a 60-57 loss to Syracuse that was won by the Orange in the final seconds, the Yellow Jackets used nine players for ten minutes or more in the game. In the game prior, a 90-83 win over N.C. State, again Georgia Tech used nine players for ten or more minutes. In another last second loss two games ago versus Louisville, the Yellow Jackets used ten players for ten minutes or more. If sheer body count won games, Georgia Tech would be favored heavily in this one.


Betting Analysis
Georgia Tech has been pretty good at home this year, going 10-3 SU and 7-4 ATS while beating opponents by an average of 4.7 points. Now, Duke is still 15-6 SU on the year, so their ATS record on the road can’t be too bad, but at 3-3 it doesn’t inspire confidence either. This will also be the first time in six meetings with Georgia Tech that Duke won’t be a double digit favorite. That makes Dukes 5-0 SU record make some sense and also their 4-2 ATS record overall; however, Duke is 2-4 ATS on the road against Georgia Tech in their last six games.

With Georgia Tech compiling a 24th ranked strength-of-schedule compared to Duke’s 19th ranked schedule, I think the opening line of -1.5 favoring Duke was pretty sharp. As it moves more in favor of Duke, the value grows on taking the Yellow Jackets as home underdogs for our NCAA basketball picks. I’m suggesting that readers wait until just before game time for this line to inflate behind Duke as much as possible, with a small lean on Georgia Tech at the current +3.5 at Heritage as one of my Tuesday NCAAB Picks.

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