Prop bets for No. 7 Duke men's basketball vs. Virginia Tech

Mark Mitchell defends Clemson's Chase Hunter in Duke's 72-71 victory.
Mark Mitchell defends Clemson's Chase Hunter in Duke's 72-71 victory.

No. 7 Duke men's basketball has a short turnaround after an emotional win against Clemson, traveling to Blacksburg, Va., for a road contest with Virginia Tech. The Blue Zone is here with some can't-miss prop bets:

Duke (-3.5) vs. Virginia Tech

After squeaking past the Clemson Tigers Saturday in dramatic fashion, the Blue Devils quickly hit the road to Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va., to play Virginia Tech. Both teams are looking to extend their win streak, and the Hokies are red hot after demolishing Georgia Tech 91-67. Virginia Tech has been quite comfortable at home this season, posting a 10-1 record, with its only loss being against Miami Jan. 13. As for Duke, this is arguably its toughest road test: The Blue Devils have not emerged victorious in Blacksburg since 2019, and have lost five out of the last six. In addition, free throws have been a recent problem for Duke — shooting 63.6% from the stripe against Clemson — while the Hokies handled business with 88.2%. With Duke’s recent struggles to close out games, I expect this one — similar to last year’s 78-75 victory by Virginia Tech — to come down to the wire. For that reason, I have Virginia Tech against the spread.

Pick: Virginia Tech +3.5

Over/Under 147.5 points

Kyle Filipowski’s lackluster performance in his matchup against the Tigers’ PJ Hall certainly cannot be replicated if the Blue Devils expect to leave with a win. I don’t expect him to shoot under 50% from the charity stripe this game, despite the difficult atmosphere. The sophomore center will provide physicality in hopes to avenge last year’s loss. Also hoping to bounce back is captain Jeremy Roach. With ankle issues in his past two games, the senior guard did not start against Clemson, but he will need to take the keys to the Duke offense and inspire the Blue Devils in this road contest.

As for Virginia Tech, its talented backcourt featuring guards Sean Pedulla and Hunter Cattoor will thrive at home and wreak havoc on the Blue Devil defense. Cattoor, a notable “Duke Killer” after leading the Hokies to their first ACC title with a 31-point game against Duke, has shot 50% from 3-point range in his last four games. Pedulla, averaging 15.7 points per game, thrashed Clemson earlier this month with a 32-point game. As much as the defenses are strong, given the environment and the incredible guards from both squads, this is going to be a shootout.

Pick: Over 147.5

Mark Mitchell over/under 13.5 points

Virginia Tech’s main focuses in preparation will be looking to keep Filipowski in check, and shut down Duke’s backcourt of Roach, Tyrese Proctor and Jared McCain. Similar to the Blue Devils’ matchups with Syracuse and Notre Dame, Mitchell might just go unnoticed and have a standout game. He had a quiet 13 points this past weekend facing the Tigers, including a 3-pointer. Especially on the road in a hostile atmosphere, Mitchell’s tenacity, physicality and athleticism will prove pivotal against the Hokies on both sides of the court. If Filipowski is doubled or gets into foul trouble, I wouldn’t be surprised if head coach Jon Scheyer made adjustments to run the offense through Mitchell.

Pick: Over 13.5 points


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