Duke Blue Devils vs. NC State Wolfpack Pick 2/19/20

by | Feb 19, 2020 | cbb

Duke Blue Devils (22-3 SU, 13-12 ATS) vs. NC State Wolfpack (16-9 SU, 12-13 ATS)

When: Wednesday, February 19, 9 p.m.

Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, N.C.

TV: ESPN

Point Spread: DUKE -6.5/NCSU +6.5 (SportsBetting.ag - 50% Signup Bonus!)

Total: O/U 150.5

Last Time Out:

Duke crushed Notre Dame 94-60; NC State lost 71-68 at Boston College.

Scouting the Blue Devils:

Gamblers and Mike Krzyzewski have one thing in common: they’d love to see some more consistency from the Blue Devils’ offense. Over Duke’s past eight games, the Blue Devils have seesawed between shooting the lights out and struggling to get in gear. In games, one, three, five, and seven of this eight-game stretch, the Blue Devils’ lowest number has been 89, and they’re averaging 94.5 points per game in those contests. But in games two, four, six, and eight, the Blue Devils’ highest number was 79, and their average score was 71.25. That’s a sign of immaturity, which is to be expected with such a young team.

But it does make the Blue Devils a rather annoying team to bet on because the only thing you can really count on (unless the opponent is Florida State) is Vernon Carey. Over Duke’s past six games, Carey has scored 17 or more points in five of them, and he’s posted four double-doubles in that stretch.

More Picks: Get Dan’s Syracuse at Louisville total & spread predictions >>>

Scouting the Wolfpack:

Home, sweet…not so much. The last two occasions where NC State showed its face in PNC Arena were forgettable occasions, as the Pack lost by 20 to Louisville after losing by 10 to North Carolina. Losing to the Cardinals is forgivable (at least, it was at the time before Louisville went into its tailspin), but falling to the Tar Heels is a horrible loss this season (boy, is that strange to write). Getting on the road seems to have rejuvenated State a little, as they picked up a crucial win at fellow bubble hopeful Syracuse, but they undid that progress by losing at Boston College, something that you just can’t do if you want to make the NCAAs.

The good news for State is that it still has time to undo the damage it did in Chestnut Hill, and the best way to do that is by beating a Duke squad that it has played pretty well against in recent years. Granted, it’s tough to gauge with Duke because the Blue Devils now undergo rapid change every season with a team build around freshmen, but PNC Arena has not been kind to Duke in this decade. Of the teams’ past six meetings in Raleigh (one of which was 2010, before this decade started), the Wolfpack are 4-2, and they’ve beaten Duke by double digits in three of those games. Those past games came against a different Duke team, but they mean one thing: State is not going to be afraid of Duke. The Wolfpack have done this before, and they know that they can play well when it matters most against Duke.

X-Factor:

Tobacco Road. Duke and State was the Triangle rivalry broken up by ACC expansion (as the league saw no reason to keep apart State and Carolina once Maryland exited and ESPN would have screamed bloody murder if the league had even thought about not providing two Duke-Carolina games a year), but that doesn’t mean it’s any less fierce than their respective rivalries with the Heels. Given that State has had Duke’s number in Raleigh, this game is one that means a lot to Krzyzewski and a lot of Duke fans.

Plus, the Blue Devils have a lot on the line in this one. Duke isn’t likely to catch the four No. 1 seeds, but the Blue Devils don’t really need to. Right now, they’re on track for a No. 2 seed and a spot in the East Regional, where they’d be projected to line up against San Diego State. That’s a game the Devils would love to play, especially if they can do it in New York, their home away from home. To get it, Duke probably has to run the table.

Duke will Cover if:

Duke can push the tempo on State. Gone are the days of the Wolfpack being all offense, all the time. State can play some pretty good defense and has actually gone under in nine straight games in Raleigh. The Blue Devils love to play fast and have the ability to get State out of its comfort zone if they can hit some shots and cause some turnovers, which will need to happen in order to get the cover.

NC State will Cover if:

The Wolfpack can keep Carey from dominating the glass. State’s not a great team on the boards, but they don’t have to win the battle to get a result out of this one. All they have to do is keep Carey from pulling down a large number of offensive rebounds, and they should be okay.

Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread:

This combination of State’s desperation, Duke’s inconsistency, PNC Arena’s hex on the Blue Devils and the Wolfpack’s improved defense points to two things. Taking the under and taking the Wolfpack to cover. If Duke plays its game, the Wolfpack won’t have much of a chance, but I don’t think that the Blue Devils will be on in this contest. Consistency has not been an area where Duke excels, and I think this turns into a game where Duke has to fight from start to finish. That tells me that State stays in the game and holds the score down, so give me the Wolfpack to cover and keep the total under. Bet your Duke/NC State pick for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% REAL CASH bonus at one of the web’s best sportsbooks: MyBookie!

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