The Blue Zone has you covered with our prop bets for Duke’s matchup with Clemson:
Duke (-5) vs. Clemson
After breaking a three-game skid with a close win against Georgia Tech, Duke men’s basketball is looking to establish some momentum in ACC play this Saturday. Not only did the Blue Devils win their previous game, but they actually managed to cover as well, marking just their second victory against the spread this season.
Although the taste of victory and a few spare dollars finally returned to those few remaining Duke bettors, the Blue Devils’ performance this season hardly inspires faith for betting.
Thankfully for those loyal Duke bettors, the Blue Devils are not alone in their recent struggles in ACC play. Although Clemson started out the season as arguably the best team in the ACC, the Tigers last several games have exposed significant flaws, especially on the offensive end.
They have also lost three of their last four games, though they regained some confidence with a victory against Louisville on Wednesday night. Prior to that game, Clemson had lost by 35 to Virginia and 18 to Georgia Tech.
Even with Clemson’s bumpy road as of late, I find it surprising to see Duke favored by five points in Saturday’s matchup. Though Duke has a good chance to win, I fully expect a close game that could go either way. When it comes down to it, I can’t ignore Duke’s 2-9 record against the spread, so I have to recommend betting on Clemson to cover.
Pick: Clemson (+5)
Over/Under 133.5 Points
Despite perceived weaknesses on the offensive end of the floor, Duke has still managed to average 73.7 points per game in ACC play. The greater problems probably lie in the Blue Devils’ inability to control other teams on defense. So the over/under at just 133.5 points seems almost too good to be true.
In fact, every single Duke basketball game in ACC play has exceeded the total of 133.5 points, and only one total has even been below 140 points. Although Duke hasn’t played a low-scoring defensive-minded team like Clemson in that stretch, I don’t expect this streak to end on Saturday.
While Clemson has maintained a fairly impressive 10-4 record on the season, their offense remains a major weakness. The team has scored just 65.2 points per game, which ranks 297th out of 340 schools in the nation. To make up for their offensive deficiency, the Tigers have one of the top defenses in the country, so it’s not surprising to see the over/under at just 133.5 points. Something else that is surprising—even with their low scoring offense and stifling defense, Clemson has hit the over in eight of 14 games this season.
In one of my favorite bets of all, I feel that I can wholeheartedly recommend betting the over in Saturday’s game.
Pick: Over (133.5)
DJ Steward Over/Under 13.5 Points
In his freshman season, DJ Steward has developed into one of the key pieces of the Duke offense, averaging 13.6 points per game and providing a much-needed source of offense. Especially in the few games when sophomore forward Matthew Hurt has struggled, Steward has frequently been the go-to-guy to bring a spark to the team.
That role was clear against Georgia Tech on Wednesday night when Steward nailed a few key threes en route to a team-high 19 points. The guard’s points are absolutely crucial for Duke’s success, as he has averaged 17.5 points in the team’s last four wins.
Clemson’s defensive focus will have a lot to handle with Hurt and Jalen Johnson on the floor, but the presence of star forward Aamir Simms as a shotblocker should put pressure on Duke’s guards to contribute heavily.
If Duke is to come out of Saturday with a victory, Steward will need to fill up the stat sheet. That’s exactly what I expect him to do, so roll with the over on Steward points.
Pick: Steward Over (13.5)
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