#12 Duke Blue Devils (21-5; 15-9 ATS; 16-8 O/U) vs. #11 Clemson Tigers (20-5; 14-8 ATS; 12-10 O/U)
The Duke Blue Devils will aim for their third straight win when they take on the Clemson Tigers in an ACC battle Sunday afternoon from the Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, SC. The Blue Devils cruised to a 74-52 home win against Virginia Tech in their latest action, and the Tigers are coming off an 81-79 overtime loss to Florida State in their latest action. This is the first meeting this season, and Duke defeated Clemson in both meetings last season.
Allen Leads Blue Devils to Dominating Win vs. VT
The Duke Blue Devils played stifling defense in their dominating 74-52 home win against Virginia Tech on Wednesday to improve to 9-4 in conference play. The Blue Devils converted on 50% of their field goals, and limited the Hokies to a 42.9% clip. Grayson Allen was outstanding in the victory, notching 25 points on 9 for 17 shooting. The senior guard has scored a combined 48 points in his last two games, and stands third in team scoring with 15 points per game. Gary Trent Jr. also had a strong night in Duke’s latest win, amassing 19 points which included a 5 for 9 effort from three-point range. The freshman guard is a huge threat from deep, sporting a 46% clip from beyond the arc, and is now averaging 15.2 points per game.
Duke’s leading scorer Marvin Bagley III has missed the last two games with a sprained knee, and he is currently listed as questionable for this one. The Blue Devils have responded from a two game skid by winning two straight games without their best player. They are currently tied for second in the ACC with Clemson, sitting 3.5 games back of first-place Virginia, and they have won four of six games against ranked opponents this season. Duke is scoring an average of 88.2 points, good for second in the country. They are allowing an average of 71.8 points, positioning them 163rd overall.
Clemson Can’t Hold Large Lead in Loss to FSU
The Clemson Tigers squandered an 18-point second half lead in their tough 81-79 overtime road loss to Florida State on Thursday to fall to 9-4 in ACC play. The Tigers finished with a 45% field goal percentage, while the Seminoles were able to post a 52% clip. Tigers’ top scorer Marcquise Reed scored a team-high 23 points on an 8 for 21 shooting performance in the defeat. The junior guard has scored at least 20 points in three of his last four games, and is currently up to 15.7 points on 44% shooting. Gabe DeVoe chipped in with 11 points on 3 for 8 shooting in Thursday’s loss. The senior guard is red-hot from deep, shooting at least 50% from three-point range in five straight games, and stands third in team scoring with 13.4 points per game.
The Tigers had their four game winning streak snapped in Thursday’s loss to FSU, and they are now tied with Duke for second place in the ACC standings. Clemson has won all six of their conference home games, and they own a 3-2 record against ranked opponents this season. They are playing the rest of the season without their second leading scorer Donte Grantham. The Tigers are scoring an average of 75.2 points per game, ranking them 139th overall. Their defense has been outstanding, holding opponents to 65.8 points, good for 30th in the country.
The Duke Blue Devils are:
- 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
The Clemson Tigers are:
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games.
- 6-0 ATS in their last 6 home games against a team with a winning road record.
I am siding with Clemson in this battle. Clemson is a perfect 13-0 on their home court this season which included a win against North Carolina. Their defense continues to shine, and they are allowing an average of only 63 points in their six conference home games. Duke has lost two out of their last three road games which included a loss to St. John’s and the Tar Heels. Furthermore, Duke’s defense has been vulnerable on the road this season, conceding an average of 76 points in their seven conference road games, and I am confident a strong-shooting Clemson team can have a productive afternoon.
Pick: Clemson Tigers
Duke likely won’t be able to have their usual success on the road against a tremendous Clemson defense. The Tigers continue to shut down the opposition on their home court, allowing 69 or fewer points in three of their last four home games, and the under is 5-1 in their last six home games against a team with a road winning percentage above .600. Duke has buckled down defensively in their last two games, and Clemson has not been scoring big points.