Duke continues its road trip Saturday with a rematch against Syracuse, and the Blue Zone has you covered with some can't-miss prop bets:
Duke (-7) vs. Syracuse
Can you truly trust Syracuse in this spot? I know the Orange are winners of six out of their last eight, but outside of the flying Boeheims, efficiency is not Syracuse’s specialty. In last month’s matchup between these programs, not even Buddy Boeheim could get it going, as Wendell Moore Jr. held the sharpshooting senior to just seven points on 2-of-15 from the field. That, along with the Blue Devils’ 14 triples, led to a 20-point Duke win that was not even that close.
Syracuse, quite frankly, is not even close to a tournament-caliber unit, and that will be on full display from the tip Saturday. Paolo Banchero is the perfect zone-breaker, AJ Griffin will get an endless amount of wide open threes and Mark Williams will continue to be an imposing rim protector—during Duke’s current five-game win streak, the Virginia native is averaging two blocks a contest. Duke wins and covers easily.
Pick: Duke -7
Both of these teams shoot over 36% from downtown, so expect some fireworks. On Syracuse’s side, expect Buddy Boeheim, Jimmy Boeheim and Joe Girard to fire at will, particularly if the Orange are faced with an early deficit. As for Duke, well, pick your poison. Griffin, Moore, Jeremy Roach, Trevor Keels and Joey Baker are all capable of getting hot from beyond the arc, and facing a 2-3 zone is the perfect recipe for spacing and ball movement to be rewarded in the form of easy looks from three.
Obviously, there is never a good reason to bet the under, but even less so here. This might be a repeat—albeit with a larger margin of victory for the Blue Devils—of the 2020 battle between these two, a game that resulted in a 97-88 Duke win.
Pick: Over 151.5
Over/under 6.5 points for Jeremy Roach
Roach, coming off his 15-point performance in Wednesday’s last-minute victory against Virginia, is playing his best ball of the season off the bench. The sophomore guard is shooting 46.7% from two and 38.5% from three, serving as the ideal complement to the Blue Devils’ array of scorers. Even when he is called upon to create his own offense, like during the Virginia matchup, Roach is patient and picks his spots perfectly.
During Wednesday night’s postgame press conference, Roach and head coach Mike Krzyzewski reiterated that despite the floor general moving in and out of the starting lineup, his true role has not changed. Considering that, look for the Paul VI alum to get multiple open jumpers around the arc, especially if the Orange converge on Banchero at the foul line. He will not go for a 20-burger, but Roach is clearly rounding into form. Take the over here.
Pick: Over 6.5 points
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Max Rego is a Trinity senior and an associate sports editor for The Chronicle's 118th volume. He was previously sports managing editor for Volume 117.