Duke Blue Devils vs. Miami Hurricanes Preview and Pick – Betting Odds

Duke Blue Devils (21-4 SU, 16-8 ATS) vs. Miami Hurricanes (17-8 SU, 10-7 ATS), 7:00 p.m. EST, Wednesday, February 17, 2010, BankUnited Center, Coral Gables, Fla. TV: ESPN
by Ryno of Predictem.com

Betting Odds: Duke -7.5/Miami +7.5
Over/Under: 139

With Syracuse and Villanova each recently losing a game, the Duke Blue Devils are moving closer to a possible No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. If they can continue winning their ACC contests, the door could open up for the Blue Devils to move up to a No. 1 seed with another loss from one of the top four teams. Their next test is a road game at Miami, a team desperately needing a quality win.

The Blue Devils are currently 9-2 in the ACC, one game ahead of Virginia Tech in the conference standings. Since a loss at Georgetown on January 30, they are on a four-game winning streak, having defeated Georgia Tech, Boston College, North Carolina and Maryland during that streak. In their last game, the Blue Devils defeated Maryland at home on Saturday, 77-56. They got off to a hot start and the game was never in doubt, as the Blue Devils grabbed a double-digit lead almost right off the tip. Jon Scheyer only had one assist, but he scored 22 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field and 3-for-4 from 3-point range. Brian Zoubek had perhaps his best game of the season and possibly his career with 16 points and 17 rebounds. He shot 7-for-10 from the field. Nolan Smith had 14 points and six assists, and Kyle Singler had 10 points and six rebounds. Duke shot 42 percent from the field and 5-for-15 on 3-pointers. The Blue Devils only committed seven turnovers and held Maryland to 38 percent shooting from the field and 2-for-13 from beyond the arc.

Miami went 14-0 during its non-conference schedule but the Hurricanes didn’t really face much tough competition. Their best non-conference wins came over South Carolina and Minnesota, and their only non-conference road games came at Stetson and Pepperdine. They started off slow in ACC play, losing five of their first six games with their only win in that stretch being a one-point home victory over Wake Forest. The Hurricanes are now 3-8 in conference play with their other two wins coming at home over Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. They’ve had one home loss this season and that came to Boston College, 79-75, on January 19.

In their last game, the Hurricanes lost at Clemson on Saturday, 74-66. They shot 52 percent from the field, but still managed to lose the game. They also shot 7-for-20 on 3-pointers, got out-rebounded by five, and committed 13 turnovers while forcing 11 turnovers. They allowed Clemson to shoot 46 percent from the field and 9-for-21 on 3-pointers. But the difference in the game was at three free throw line, where Miami shot 7-for-17 and Clemson shot 25-for-31. Malcolm Grant led Miami in scoring with 13 points, and Durand Scott added 10 points. No Miami player grabbed more than five rebounds. Dwayne Collins, Julian Gamble and Adrian Thomas have to come to play against the Duke big men. They have to crash the boards, play extremely tough, and stay out of foul trouble for Miami to have a chance to win the game.

In conference play, there isn’t one statistical category in which Miami has the advantage. Duke has a +2.9 turnover margin while Miami has a -2.3 turnover margin. Miami has a -3.5 rebounding margin while Duke is out-rebounding its opponents by five boards per game. Duke is shooting 34.8 percent on 3-pointers while holding opponents to 24.3 percent. Miami is shooting 32.9 percent from beyond the arc and allowing opponents to shoot 35.3 percent. Miami is shooting 42 percent from the field and allowing opponents to shoot 44.5 percent, while Duke is shooting 42.9 percent and holding opponents to 41.6 percent.

Duke is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 games as a favorite. Miami is 6-0 ATS in its last six games as a home underdog. The over is 6-0 in the last six meetings between these teams. In the last five meetings between these teams, the underdog is 3-1-1 ATS, the road team is 3-1-1 ATS, and Duke is 1-3-1 ATS.

Ryno’s Pick: I like the UNDER to get the money in this game.