Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#607 Duke -10.5 vs.
#608 Clemson 134
Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Blake V.

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#607 Duke University
#608 Clemson University
15-1
8-7
10-6
9-6
10-6
8-7
83
68
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No. 2 Duke will look to build on its nine-game winning streak when the Blue Devils travel to Clemson on Tuesday night in an ACC battle. The Blue Devils are now 15-1 on the season and are coming off a 31-point win against Wake Forest. Clemson is sitting at 8-7, but the Tigers are coming off an improbable road win against North Carolina over the weekend. Duke has won eight of the last 10 meetings against the Tigers.

Duke looking for double-digit win streak

Duke extended its win streak with a win against Wake Forest on Saturday. The Blue Devils were hoping for a better showing after a single-digit win against Georgia Tech in their mid-week game. They certainly accomplished that goal on Saturday, jumping out to a 49-23 lead against the Demon Deacons at halftime. The second half was essentially a formality, but Duke outscored Wake Forest by five points after intermission. Duke covered the large spread with a 53.2 percent shooting clip from the field, including a 47.8 percent effort from beyond the arc. The Blue Devils did leave some points at the line, only making 13 of 25 from the charity stripe.

The Blue Devils are led by freshman center Vernon Carey Jr., who is scoring 17.4 points per game and is grabbing 8.6 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Tre Jones is scoring 14.9 points per game and is dishing out a team-high 7.0 assists per contest. He is also grabbing 4.0 rebounds per outing. The Blue Devils have several major weapons from beyond the arc. Freshman guard Cassius Stanley has made 13 of 30 from downtown, hitting 43.3 percent. Sophomore forward Joey Baker has been the best outside shooter, connecting on 20 of 46 for a 43.5 percent clip. Freshman forward Matthew Hurt is 25 of 62 for a 40.3 percent rate.

Tigers needing to build on past two games

Clemson is coming off a pair of impressive wins, but the Tigers know they will need an even better performance on Tuesday night. They bounced back from an overtime loss to Miami with wins against North Carolina State and North Carolina. Clemson had lost second-half leads to Virginia Tech, Florida State and Miami, but held off the Wolfpack in the win. Saturday’s victory against North Carolina came in stunning fashion. The Tigers forced overtime with a 3-pointer at the end of regulation and outscored the Tar Heels by three points in overtime to grab the win. It was Clemson’s first win in 60 tries in Chapel Hill. Clemson trailed by 10 with a little more than two minutes left in regulation, but a frantic comeback forced overtime.

The Tigers are led by junior forward Aamir Simms, who is scoring 13.9 points per game and is grabbing 7.5 rebounds per game. He nearly leads the team in every major statistical category, dishing out 2.5 assists per contest. Simms has been the best outside shooter on the team, making 18 of 47 from beyond the arc. Senior wing Tevin Mack is the only other player in double figures, scoring 11.5 points per game to go along with 5.1 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard John Newman III is adding 9.9 points per game and 3.5 boards per outing. Freshman guard Al-Amir Dawes is the leading distributor with 2.9 assists per game.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I am taking Clemson to cover the spread as big home underdogs in this game. The Tigers are starting to play better and should be confident after snapping their road losing streak to North Carolina. They also like to slow the pace of the game down, which makes it easier to cover a large spread. Clemson has been a solid team at home, covering the spread in six of its 10 home games this season. Duke struggled against an inferior opponent in its last road game, only beating Georgia Tech by nine points.

Prediction: Clemson +10.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Clemson knows that it needs to control the pace of Tuesday night’s game if it wants to keep this game close. The Tigers play much slower than Duke, coming in at No. 276 in KenPom’s adjusted tempo ratings. They pride themselves on the defensive end of the court, ranking No. 49 in adjusted defensive efficiency. Their offense is not nearly as good, coming in at No. 159. The Tigers will need to slow the game down and limit Duke’s transition scoring, so I like this one to go under the total.

Prediction: Under 135.5
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Written By Blake V.

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.