Before the Blue Devils rematch the Hokies Saturday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the Blue Zone is here with some can't miss prop bets:
Duke (-6.5) vs. Virginia Tech
The last time the Blue Devils faced the Hokies Jan. 23, the game came down to the wire before a clutch MJ Collins jumper and an uncalled hit to Kyle Filipowski’s throat sealed 78-75 the victory for Virginia Tech. There are a few key differences between Saturday’s matchup and the teams’ first meeting. Freshman wing Dariq Whitehead — who left the January matchup with a leg injury — will play in what has been his best form of the season. Duke is coming off four days of rest instead of the quick turnaround that made the Blue Devils travel to Blacksburg, Va., just two days after playing Miami. Most importantly, the game will take place at Cameron Indoor Stadium, where Duke has yet to lose a game this season. From the perspective of the Blue Devils, this seems like plenty to turn a close loss into a convincing win.
However, the Hokies have shown some fight. In their matchup Tuesday against Miami, who recently beat Duke by 22, Virginia Tech only fell by six points. Before that, the Hokies beat Pitt, who sits two games ahead of Duke at third in the ACC standings.
This creates a tricky matchup for the Blue Devils, who cannot get caught looking ahead to upcoming matchups against N.C. State and North Carolina. In the end, the home crowd will be just enough for Duke to pull away and even the season series.
Pick: Duke –6.5
Over/Under 140.5 total points
The Blue Devils seem to have found their rhythm offensively, especially in their last two matchups against Syracuse and Louisville. While neither team presented a particularly significant challenge defensively, Duke turned in two of its best performances of the year from behind the arc, shooting a combined 45.8% between the two games. A large part of this comes from Whitehead and Tyrese Proctor, who both are finding the bottom of the net more often than at the beginning of the year. With a friendly atmosphere at Cameron Indoor, this trend should continue against Virginia Tech.
Likewise, the Hokies are no slouch offensively. They have four players averaging double-figures, including sharpshooting guard Hunter Cattoor. Duke fans may remember Cattoor from last year’s ACC championship game, where he scored 31 points on the Blue Devils. This game will have its fair share of threes, certainly enough to push the line over 140.5.
Dariq Whitehead over/under 8.5 points
Whitehead has averaged just 8.6 points on the season, but this statistic can be deceiving without taking a deeper look into the numbers. Having to deal with multiple injuries throughout the season, Whitehead struggled to find his role in the offense early on. However, his 3-point percentage has shot up to a team-high 41% — out of players with at least 20 attempts. And, in terms of pure shot-making ability, he ranks among the best on the roster. While he struggled in his last game against Louisville, shooting just 2-of-9 from the field, look for him to establish himself against the Hokies. If he gets hot from deep, his scoring total will climb high into the double digits.
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