9 p.m. ET – Duke (-4½) at Pittsburgh O/U: 144
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Duke||-4½ (-115)||-195||O 144 (-110)|
|Pittsburgh||+4½ (-105)||+170||U 144 (-110)|
What’s up with perennial national power Duke? The 5-3 Blue Devils have fallen out of the Top 25 for the first time all season following a 74-67 loss to Virginia Tech last Tuesday. While they have struggled with injuries this season, but the Blue Devils are expected to be at full strength for this matchup against 7-2 Pitt. The Panthers have won two in a row, but those were the only two games they have played over the last three weeks as they’ve battled COVID-19 issues.
Any ACC game involving Duke is special, but this matchup always has a little more juice because Pitt is coached by Mike Krzyzewski disciple Jeff Capel III, who not only played for Coach K in Durham but then was an assistant coach there under him from 2011 until Capel’s hiring at Pitt in 2018. And it always become more interesting when it appears to the student may be catching up to the teacher. Capel told the Pittsburgh Tribune that facing off against his mentor always means a little more to him and his Pitt players.
“It resonates with everyone,” Capel said. “It’s Duke It’s the gold standard of college basketball. As long as he’s been on that sideline, it will be that. I don’t care what their record is.”
Oddsmakers don’t seem to care so much, either, at least for the time being. Duke is 1-7 against the spread this season for a reason. The market is overinflated because sportsbooks know they can keep getting bettors on Duke with short spreads. If both teams switched jerseys, this game in reality should be Pittsburgh giving Duke the 3.5 points currently being offered by MyBookie.
As always, Duke remains loaded with much of the top, young talent in the nation and is capable of scoring with any team in the country. But the up-and-coming Panthers appear to be on the rise and very well may have the firepower to stay with them and pull this faux upset. Take Pittsburgh to win outright, and the total of Over 141.5 points.