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Prop bets for Duke men's basketball vs. Pittsburgh

Mark Mitchell scored 14 points against Boston College Saturday.
Mark Mitchell scored 14 points against Boston College Saturday.

After a couple of games on the road, No. 24 Duke will play Pittsburgh in its first home game of 2023. Ahead of the matchup, the Blue Zone provides you with our can't-miss prop bets:

Duke (-8) vs. Pittsburgh

After Duke’s troubled showing against N.C. State, the Blue Devils narrowly escaped Chestnut Hill, Mass., several days later with a one-point win against Boston College. Freshman forward Dariq Whitehead had his best performance of the season, scoring 18 points by going 6-of-12 from the field. Fellow freshman Kyle Filipowski was fouled when going for a rebound with 12 seconds remaining, which sent him to the foul line to convert the game-winning free throws.

Pittsburgh has had a stronger start in ACC play than Duke, with wins against North Carolina, N.C. State and Syracuse, and an upset against No. 11 Virginia. Led by the trio of 6-foot-7 forward Blake Hinson and guards 6-foot-4 Jamarius Burton and 6-foot Nelly Cummings, who each average more than 10 points per game, the Panthers possess plenty of scoring talent. Pittsburgh recently suffered its first setback, losing to Clemson at home by one point.

Duke enters the contest favored but missing captain guard Jeremy Roach, who is recovering from a reaggravated toe injury. Without Roach directing offensive traffic against Boston College, Duke went nine minutes in the second half without a field goal. On the defensive end, the Blue Devils have recently struggled to defend the 3-ball, as seen in N.C. State’s 10-made shots from downtown. The Panthers shoot a ton from behind the arc and average 8.8 treys per game. Four of Pittsburgh's five ACC games were decided by one score, so this game seems destined to be a nail-biter.

Pick: Pittsburgh +8

Over/Under 141.5 points

Pittsburgh has some talented bucket-getters, which leads the team to average 75.2 points per game. The Panthers have hit the over in their last four games with help from elite play from Hinson. The 6-foot-7 junior from Deltona, Fla., averages 16.8 points per game, shooting 47.3% from the field. Hinson’s best performance this season came against Syracuse, when he scored 25 points shooting 9-of-19 from the field. The Panthers are also one of three programs with three 1,000-point backcourts, as veteran guards Cummings, Burton and Sibande have each eclipsed the millennium mark.

Although the Blue Devils may struggle without Roach, they still have playmakers that can make an impact on the game. Filipowski leads the way with 13.9 points per game and shoots at 42% from the floor. Graduate center Ryan Young has been impactful off the bench lately, including his 11-point effort against N.C. State. Matched up against a shorter Pittsburgh team, 7-foot Filipowski and 6-foot-10 Young should work space for themselves down low and score enough points—combined with Pittsburgh’s shooting prowess—to hit the over. 

Pick: Over 141.5 points

Mark Mitchell over/under 9.5 Points

Freshman forward Mark Mitchell has put together an efficient rookie season, averaging 9.8 points shooting 52.3% from the field. He was an integral player in the absence of Roach against Boston College, scoring 14 points while making 6-of-7 free throw attempts. Mitchell has also become a stronger force on the defensive end, averaging nearly a block per game. The Kansas City, Kan., native's best play against Boston College was his chase-down block with 38 seconds left, which cut Duke's deficit to just one and allowed for the eventual comeback. Against Pittsburgh, look for the Blue Devils to lean on his talents to come away with a victory.

Pick: Over 9.5 points 

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