Prop bets for No. 21 Duke men's basketball vs. Baylor

Senior guard Jeremy Roach has been averaging 19.4 points over his last five games.
Senior guard Jeremy Roach has been averaging 19.4 points over his last five games.

As No. 21 Duke men’s basketball prepares to take on No. 10 Baylor at Madison Square Garden Wednesday night, the Blue Zone is here with some can’t-miss prop bets:

Duke (-3) vs Baylor

Head coach Jon Scheyer’s Blue Devils have lost all three of their games this season decided by five points or less, but expect things to change in this matchup. Baylor is looking to rebound from a blowout defeat to a Michigan State team that lost to Duke by nine earlier this season, so the Bears will likely have an extra edge to them. However, the Blue Devils should also come out hot. Duke has scored upwards of 40 points in its last two first halves, and with the 3-point game seemingly rejuvenated, the Blue Devils should ride a strong opening to a win at Madison Square Garden. 

Pick: Duke -3

Over/Under 153.5 total points

Both Baylor and Duke have averaged well over 70 points thus far this season, which should make for a high scoring affair Wednesday night. More importantly, neither team has defended particularly well this season, especially against higher level opponents. In the Bears’ games against major competitors like Auburn, Oregon State and Florida this season, they have given up 82, 72 and 91 points, respectively. For the Blue Devils, Arkansas and Arizona both scored upwards of 75 points when facing Scheyer’s team. Baylor and Duke have struggled to defend the 3-point ball, and strong guard play from both teams should lead to more of the same. Expect a high scoring first half and both teams to end up above the 80-point mark at the finish. 

Pick: Over 153.5 points

Jeremy Roach over/under 15.5 points

The senior captain of the Blue Devils has averaged 14.8 points per game so far this season, but in recent contests, his totals have skyrocketed. Over the last five games, Roach has averaged 19.4 points per game, shooting 61.1% from behind the arc. Additionally, the Bears struggled mightily to defend against strong guard play in their previous matchup against the Spartans, giving up 39 points to Michigan State’s two starting guards. Star Spartan Tyson Walker shot 4-4 on 3-pointers, and Roach will likely have similar opportunities to shoot threes in Wednesday night’s game. 

In the matchups against better opponents this season, defenses have put a lot of focus on star center Kyle Filipowski, and Baylor will likely pursue a similar game plan. It appears that Scheyer has shifted the Duke offense around to be less reliant upon the Westtown, N.Y., native, so Roach should be able to shine in the new role. The Blue Devils will need the senior to step up in a big way, and look for him to be a major offensive force behind Filipowski. The combination of a weak Bears defense and new Duke offensive mindset should bode well for the Leesburg, Va., native, so look for him to have a high-scoring night. 

Pick: Over 15.5 points


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