Prop bets for No. 14 Duke men's basketball vs. Syracuse

Jared McCain scored 24 points and four 3-pointers in Duke's win against Queens.
Jared McCain scored 24 points and four 3-pointers in Duke's win against Queens.

No. 14 Duke men's basketball takes the court Tuesday night against a new-look Syracuse team. The Blue Zone is here with some can't-miss prop bets:

Duke (-14.5) vs. Syracuse

Syracuse will travel to Cameron Indoor Stadium to face a Duke team who is yet to win a conference matchup this season. In its first and only ACC game thus far, a Blue Devil squad facing several offensive frustrations dropped a road match against Georgia Tech. Fans stormed the court after the Yellow Jackets secured the upset to hand Duke its second loss in a row and set the Blue Devil record to an underwhelming 5-3. Since that point, Duke has won four straight games, including a poll-shifting triumph against No. 10 Baylor in Madison Square Garden, and head coach Jon Scheyer’s squad appears to be building the mid-season confidence required for success in  conference play. 

The Orange, on the other hand, are coming off a promising home win against Pittsburgh that leveled their ACC record to 1-1. While Syracuse has yet to pick up a ranked win this season, it has proven that it can hang with respected programs, beating Oregon by 20 in the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D. 

Although the Blue Devils have shown they can be dominant in Durham, the Orange will certainly bring more firepower than Charlotte or Queens, and Duke has seen the danger of conference games. The Blue Devils will look to earn their first conference win of the season and make a bold statement to improve their current ACC standing. If Scheyer’s team continues with its recent home-court form, it should have no problem cruising through its first battle of the new year.

Pick: Duke -14.5

Over/Under 151.5 total points

There’s been a long running cliche in sports that defense wins championships. While the success of Blue Devil basketball is certainly influenced by more than what happens on the defensive end of the court, the platitude seemingly holds true for Duke’s record this season. The Blue Devils were able to hold Michigan State to 65 points in Chicago to secure a ranked win — the second lowest point total all season for the Spartans. Additionally, in the Sentinel One Classic against Baylor, it was Duke’s defense turned to offense that allowed the Blue Devils to break away from the Bears and earn Duke its seventh straight win in Madison Square Garden. Likewise, as Scheyer attempts to prevent a repeat of his team’s nightmare against Georgia Tech, he will likely emphasize the defensive end against Syracuse to create a comfortable margin for the Blue Devils. Duke will outscore the Orange, but points-per-game averages may take a hit with the focus on the defensive end.

Pick: Under 151.5 points

Jared McCain over/under 2.5 3-pointers made

Perhaps the most significant development over Duke’s recent stretch is the newly-found confidence from freshman guard Jared McCain’s offense. McCain earned a career-high 24 points last game against Queens, breaking his previous record of 21 points that he tied in the game before against Baylor. The guard continues to establish himself as one of the most dangerous 3-point shooters on the Blue Devil roster. And McCain has momentum as he enters his second conference game; in the past four games, the freshman has averaged 19.8 points and 3.3 triples made. McCain will certainly look to let it fly against Syracuse, and if the shots are connecting, the freshman guard will prove to be a significant threat from deep versus the Orange.

Pick: Over 2.5 3-pointers made


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