A quick glance over the NCAA basketball odds and we find Syracuse favored by either 2.5 or 3 points depending on the sportsbook. Up until this point the Orange have gone 20-0 SU and 11-4-1 ATS, while Duke is at 17-4 SU and 13-8 ATS.
For those interested in a total play, the O/U seems to be holding firm at 135.
Duke Blue Devils
A shaky start to ACC play has turned into a highly successful run for Coach K's team. The Blue Devils started out by losing two of three (at Notre Dame and at Clemson), but they've since won five straight games.
Home victories over Virginia (69-65), NC State (95-60) and Florida State (78-56) and road wins against Miami (67-46) and Pittsburgh (80-65) have Duke at 7-2 SU (5-3 ATS) in conference action so far.
Their latest triumph was the most impressive, as the Blue Devils took care of the Panthers with style there in a tough environment.
Duke was a 4.5-point underdog at the sportsbooks coming in, but shot 48.3 percent overall from the floor and 13-of-25 (52.0 percent) from three-point range. Jabari Parker had 21 points and 11 rebounds, Amile Jefferson had a solid double-double, and Andre Dawkins nailed six threes (20 points) off the bench.
It was a statement for a team that had gone an even 4-4 ATS away from Cameron Indoor heading in. Confidence and a real belief that they can hand Syracuse their first loss of the season should be running through the minds of Parker and company.
For the most part, it's been nothing but smooth sailing for the Orange in their debut season in the ACC. They've had a couple close games (Pittsburgh, Miami), but have passed all of the tests put in front of them so far.
We last saw Syracuse in action only a few days ago in a 67-56 road win over Wake Forest. The Orange were favored by 9.5 points and barely got the cover for relieved backers.
Shots weren't really falling for Jim Boeheim's team (36.2 percent overall, 21.4 percent from three), but Tyler Ennis had another highly efficient game, scoring 18 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists.
C.J. Fair added 16 points, eight boards and three steals and Jerami Grant posted 10 points and 10 rebounds in the win. Syracuse's dominance on the glass (they out-rebounded Wake Forest 51-28 and had 17 offensive rebounds) was a key factor in the victory.
Now the Orange return home to the Carrier Dome, where they're 12-0 SU and 4-3-1 ATS in games that have had public college basketball lines available.
College Basketball Pick
Though Duke seems to always be a heavy public play, we expect a lot of people to roll with the undefeated Orange at home here. After all, they are favored by the smallest of margins and home-court advantage could play a big role.
However, the Blue Devils proved they're not to be taken lightly earlier in the week and we expect them to come out swinging again this evening.
With that said, we're going to take a chance on Duke in our NCAA basketball picks after an incredibly impressive performance against a very good Pittsburgh team. The Blue Devils have had a tough road this season – they're #12 in the country in strength of schedule – and we think that will help them deal with the relentless pressure they'll get tonight.
Pick: Duke Blue Devils +3