Short-Handed Irish No Match for Blue Devils

duke basketball

Willie Bee

Monday, January 29, 2018 2:02 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 29, 2018 2:02 PM UTC

Playing without their two leading scorers, Notre Dame arrives at Duke as a double-digit underdog on the NCAA basketball odds for Monday night’s ACC clash.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Duke Blue DevilsFree NCAAB Pick: Under 150Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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It’s Big Monday for fans tuning into ESPN this evening, but Quick Turnaround Monday for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Duke Blue Devils. Adding to the matchup of marquee programs is the fact each side is coming off Saturday setbacks that dropped them further behind Virginia, which is atop the ACC standings.

Tip-off at Cameron Indoor Stadium comes a little past 7 PM (ET), Sean McDonough and Jay Bilas running their mouths for the bulk of the contest. Sportsbooks expect them to spend more time talking about Duke than Notre Dame with the Blue Devils favored by 14½ points. Playing the scoreboard means a decision on a total currently in the 149½ to 150 range.

Duke Sees 15-Game ACC Home Win Streak Come To An End

Injuries have been a key factor in the Fighting Irish dropping 5 straight ACC contests to fall into the lower half of the conference ranks. Preseason ACC Player of the Year Bonzie Colson (foot) was lost just after league play began and isn’t expected back until the end of February at the earliest. Fellow senior Matt Farrell injured his ankle shortly after that, sat a few games and tried to come back too early before the decision was made to sit him again as he will miss his fifth of the last seven games tonight.

Duke became Virginia’s latest victim a couple of days ago, the Cavaliers holding on for a 65-63 victory at Cameron where the Blue Devils were favored by 3½ on the NCAA basketball odds. Defense helped the Cavs build a 10-point halftime lead before Duke clawed back into the game. The Blue Devils shot a respectable 48% from the field, but turned it over 16 times as Virginia held them 27 points below their season average. Freshman Marvin Bagley III reached the 30-point plateau for the sixth time this season, but Grayson Allen and Gary Trent Jr. were held to just 13 between them, less than half their usual contribution.

Rivalry Trends, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick

Duke has a commanding 22-7 lead in the series and has won the last two matchups, but five of Notre Dame’s seven victories have come in the last few years as conference opponents. The second of two meetings last season came in the ACC Tournament Championship game, the Blue Devils rallying for a 75-69 win after trailing by eight midway through the second half. The Irish have only won once in Durham, a 95-91 thriller two years ago as 9-point underdogs. Three of the last four encounters jumped above the totals.

Duke should be able to breeze past the short-handed Irish, but I’m liking the ‘under’ for my free college basketball pick more than laying the points.

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Thanks to all the Crazies who came out today. We appreciate it and will see you Monday.

— Duke Basketball (@DukeMBB) January 28, 2018

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