College Basketball Betting Preview: Pittsburgh Panthers at #4 Duke Blue Devils

Pittsburgh Panthers at #4 Duke Blue Devils
Cameron Indoor Stadium – Durham, North Carolina

Monday, January 19, 2015, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Duke -15
Current Line: Duke -14 1/2
Opening Total: 138
Current Total: 137
Opening Money Line: Duke -1500 / Pittsburgh +900
Current Money Line: Duke -1500 / Pittsburgh +900

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski looks for career win #999 as Duke hosts Pittsburgh Monday night in a key ACC game.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski looks for career win #999 as Duke hosts Pittsburgh Monday night in a key ACC game.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski recorded his 998th career win Saturday as Duke beat Louisville 63-52. The win snapped a 2 game losing streak for the 15-2 Blue Devils. Coach K goes for win #999 Monday night as Duke hosts the 13-5 Pittsburgh Panthers. Both Duke and Pittsburgh are 3-2 in ACC play and tied with Louisville for sixth place in the conference.

Duke leads the series 7-6 all-time against Pittsburgh. Duke won the only meeting last season 80-65 in Pittsburgh when the two teams became conference rivals for the first time. Duke leads the series 3-2 in Durham, but the Blue Devils haven’t hosted the Panthers since 1979. This is the only scheduled meeting between the teams.

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Pittsburgh is coached by Jamie Dixon. The Panthers have road losses at Hawaii, Indiana, and North Carolina State, along with a neutral site loss to San Diego State in the Maui Invitational, plus a home loss to Clemson. Pitt has won 2 straight games. The Panthers have key wins over Kansas State in Maui, home wins over Duquesne, St. Bonaventure, Manhattan, Oakland, Florida State and Georgia Tech Saturday 70-65, plus a road win at Boston College. Pittsburgh is 4-11 ATS and the total is 6-4 this season. Pitt was a 6 point favorite over Georgia Tech and the total was 121.

Duke has losses at North Carolina State and at home against  Miami-(FL). The Miami loss snapped the nation’s longest home winning streak at 41 games. Duke has neutral site wins over Michigan State in Indianapolis, Temple and Stanford in Brooklyn, and Connecticut in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Blue Devils have home wins over Army, Toledo, and Boston College, along with road wins over Wisconsin, Wake Forest and Louisville. Duke is 9-8 ATS and the total is 9-6 this season. The Blue Devils were 3 point underdogs against Louisville and the total was 142.5.

Pitt is outscoring teams 67-62 this season. The Panthers are shooting 44% from the field including 33.1% from 3 point range. Pittsburgh makes 72.1% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 42.8% from the field and 31.8% from 3 point range. Pitt averages 34.6 rebounds per game and opponents average 27.6 per game. The Panthers average 15.5 assists, 10 turnovers, 4.9 steals and 3.2 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.4 assists, 11.7 turnovers, 4.6 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.

Pitt forward Michael Young averages 13.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1 assist per game. Guard James Robinson averages 10.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game. Guard Cameron Wright averages 9.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game. Jamel Artis averages 9.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists. Chris Jones averages 8.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Josh Newkirk averages 7.4 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists. Sheldon Jeter and Ryan Luther will also get minutes i n the rotation. Guard Cameron Johnson is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury. Forward Durand Johnson is suspended for the season.

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Duke is outscoring teams 82-64 this season. Duke is #9 in scoring nationally. The Blue Devils are shooting 50.2% from the field including 36.7% from 3 point range. Duke is #4 nationally in field goal percentage. The Blue Devils make 69.8% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 42% from the field and 29.2% from 3 point range. Duke is #30 nationally in 3 point defense. The Blue Devils average 37.6 rebounds per game and opponents average 28.4 per game. Duke averages 16.1 assists, 11.4 turnovers, 7.8 steals and 3.9 blocks per game. Opponents average 10.6 assists, 13.5 turnovers, 5.3 steals and 2.4 blocks per game.

Duke forward Jahlil Okafor averages 18.9 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.6 blocks per game. Guard Quinn Cook averages 14.4 points, 3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Justise Winslow averages 11.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Tyus Jones averages 9.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Amile Jefferson averages 8.9 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. Rasheed Sulaimon averages 7.6 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. Matt Jones, Semi Ojeleye, Greyson Allen and Marshall Plumlee will also get minutes in the rotation.

Pittsburgh is 15-34-2 ATS after a straight up win, 2-5 in Monday games, 6-20-1 after failing to cover, 1-4 in road games after 3 or more straight home games, 1-4-1 against ACC teams, 1-5 against teams with winning records, 1-6 against teams with winning home records, 1-7 in road games and overall.

Duke is 2-5 ATS at home and after a straight up win, 3-9-1 against ACC teams, 1-5 against teams with losing road records, and 2-11 in Monday games.

Pittsburgh has been less than impressive in ACC play with only narrow wins over mediocre BC, Florida State and Georgia Tech. Of course, Duke also has two losses in ACC play to inferior opponents. Still, I think duke wins at home but 14.5 seems like a lot of points.

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