ACC Betting and Handicapping Spotlight: The Duke Blue Devils

Doc MosemanCorrespondent IJanuary 17, 2012

DURHAM, NC - JANUARY 12:  Ryan Kelly #34 of the Duke Blue Devils shoots a free throw against the Virginia Cavaliers during play at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 12, 2012 in Durham, North Carolina. Duke won 61-58.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Team Overview

The Duke Blue Devils moved to 15-2 on the year, with a 73-66 victory over the Clemson Tigers this past Sunday. Duke was a 6.5-point road favorite.

The win was Duke’s eighth in its last nine games, and it snapped a three-game skid against the spread that started with a stunning 78-73 loss to the Temple Owls on Jan. 4 as a 7.5-point road favorite.

The Blue Devils are a perfect 8-0 at home this season, and 7-2 in road and neutral-site games. Duke is off to a 3-0 start in ACC conference play, with every other team having at least one loss.

While there are a number of teams that still hope to contend for this year’s ACC regular season title, in all likelihood Duke faces another neck-and-neck battle with the No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels for bragging rights as the top team in the conference.


Key Statistics

Duke is once again one of the top scoring teams in the nation with an average of 80.3 points per game.

It is also doing a good job defensively by holding its opponents to an average of 68.5 points per game. Duke has given up more than 80 points just once this season, in an 85-63 loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes as a 7.5-point road underdog on Nov. 29.

Duke is shooting 49.6 percent from the field, which is currently ranked 12th in the nation.

The Blue Devils have struggled a bit under the boards with an average of just 35.5 rebounds per game, but their 40.2 percent shooting from three-point range is also one of the best in the country.

Individually, Duke has four players scoring in double-figures, led by Austin Rivers’s 13.8 points per game. Seth Curry and Ryan Kelly are each averaging just over 12 points per game and shooting over 45 percent from the field. Curry has been nearly automatic from the free-throw line, as he has been converting on 89.1 percent of his attempts, and Kelly has been deadly from beyond the arc, hitting 44.7 percent of his threes.

The duo of Mason and Miles Plumlee has provided the bulk of the production under the boards. The brothers are combining for 17 rebounds per game. Mason is also averaging 11.5 points per game, with Miles chipping in an average of seven points per game.


Betting Trends

The Blue Devils have had great success on the court so far, but they have not been the best team to wager on this season, with an overall record of 7-10 ATS. They are an even 4-4 ATS at home this season, but a costly 1-3 ATS in four road games and 2-3 ATS in five neutral-site games.

Duke is 6-8 ATS in non-conference play, and off to a 1-2 start ATS in the ACC.

The combined point total has gone ‘over’ in 11 of Duke’s 17 games, but it has stayed ‘under’ in three of its last five games. The total has gone over in five of the Blue Devils eight home games this season, and in three of four games on the road.


Upcoming Games

Duke’s next outing is this Thursday night against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, who are 10-7 overall and 1-2 in the ACC.

This Saturday, Duke faces a dangerous Florida State Seminoles team that destroyed North Carolina, 90-57, last Saturday as six-point home underdogs. The Seminoles are 11-6 overall, and 2-1 in conference play.

Both of these games will be played in the friendly confines of Cameron Indoor Stadium, before the Blue Devils have to go back on the road to face Maryland (12-4, 2-1) next Tuesday night.


Doc Moseman is the owner of Doc's Sports, and you can follow up with all his college basketball insight here.