Tulsa Golden Hurricane vs. Duke Blue Devils Preview and Pick – Point Spread – Betting Odds

Tulsa Golden Hurricane (19-8 SU, 7-16-1 ATS) vs. Duke Blue Devils (23-4 SU, 16-9-1 ATS), 7:00 p.m. EST, Thursday, February 25, 2010, Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, N.C. TV: ESPN
by Ryno of Predictem.com

Point Spread: Tulsa +18/Duke -18
Over/Under: 141.5

In a rare late season non-conference matchup, the Duke Blue Devils host the Tulsa Golden Hurricane on Thursday at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The Blue Devils are 15-0 SU at home this season, 23-4 overall and 11-2 in the ACC. They are 16-9-1 ATS this season, 13-4 ATS at home, and 15-9-1 ATS as a favorite.

Duke currently holds a one-game lead in first place in the ACC over Maryland. The Blue Devils are looking to get a No. 2 seed or possibly even a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. This certainly isn’t a must-win game by any stretch for the Blue Devils, but they need to win it if they want to get a No. 1 seed. They also are using it as a tune-up game for their final three regular season ACC games – at Virginia, at Maryland, and home against North Carolina – and the ACC tournament.

Tulsa had an outside chance at getting an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament when the Golden Hurricane started off 5-0 in Conference USA. But since then, they’ve lost five of their last eight games and each of their last three games, and are now 19-8 overall and 8-5 in conference play. This will be a tough game for them to end their losing streak, but they certainly would have to win this game, win their last three regular season conference games, and they go deep in the Conference USA tournament to have any chance at an at-large bid.

Tulsa is a very good home team but not very good on the road. The Golden Hurricane have won a total of four road games this season and each of them have been by seven points or less. The road wins came at Houston, Oral Roberts, SMU and UCF. Duke has won every home game this season by at least nine points and every home conference game by double digits.

In the Blue Devils’ last game, they won 67-55 at home on Sunday over Virginia Tech. Duke has been getting incredible production lately from Kyle Singler and Brian Zoubek. In the win over Virginia Tech, Singler had 25 points and 10 rebounds, while Zoubek had three points and 16 rebounds. Singler has 47 points and 21 rebounds over the last two games and is averaging more than 19 points per game over the last eight games. Zoubek is averaging almost 13 boards per game over the last three games. Jon Scheyer had 15 points and seven assists in the win on Sunday. Scheyer has a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio this season and has scored in double figures in all but one game all year long.

In the win over Va Tech, the Blue Devils only shot 29 percent from the
field and 10-for-30 from 3-point range, but they still managed to win the
game with solid defense. They held the Hokies to 33 percent shooting from
the field and 2-for-15 on 3-pointers, and they also out-rebounded the Hokies
by nine and got to the free throw line 10 more times than them.

In the Golden Hurricane’s last game, they lost 78-70 at home to UTEP on Saturday. Ben Uzoh scored 22 points, and Jerome Jordan had 19 points and 13 rebounds. Justin Hurtt added 15 points but only shot 4-for-17 from the field and 2-for-10 from 3-point range. They shot 38 percent from the field and 6-for-19 from beyond the arc while allowing UTEP to shoot 51 percent from the field and 4-for-10 on 3-pointers.

Tulsa rebounds well, defends well, and takes care of the basketball. The Golden Hurricane are out-rebounding opponents by 7.5 boards per game this season, holding opponents to 39.5 percent shooting from the field and 31 percent from 3-point range (29 percent in conference play), and turning the ball over about 10 times per game. Duke is forcing about 15 turnovers per game, out-rebounding opponents by six boards per game, and shooting 45 percent from the field and 39 percent from 3-point range this season.

Tulsa is 1-5 ATS in its last six games as an underdog, 1-7 ATS in its last seven games as a road underdog, 0-4-1 ATS in its last five road games, and 5-15-1 ATS in its last 21 games overall. Duke is 15-5-1 ATS in its last 21 home games.

Ryno’s Pick: Look for Tulsa to stay within the number here.