Syracuse Vs. Duke Predictions – ACC Tournament Picks
Syracuse Orange Vs. Duke Blue Devils Predictions
The day the entire basketball world was expecting has arrived. Zion Williamson is back in the lineup as the Duke Blue Devils take on the Syracuse Orange in the ACC tournament quarterfinals. It’s been close to a month since Zion’s shoe blew up on National Television. A knee injury sidelined the College Basketball star for five games, including a meeting against the Orange in Syracuse. If I’m honest, I did believe Williamson would play in March Madness, and the ACC tournament seems to be the perfect time to get him back into action.
Duke posted a 3-2 record in those five games Williamson was not in the lineup. It is 3-3 if we take into consideration he only played 30 seconds against North Carolina during the night of the shoe malfunction. The Blue Devils dropped games against Virginia Tech and twice against North Carolina. Both times they failed to cover the spread. They did beat Syracuse soundly at the Carrier Dome, covering as a 5.5-road favorite. Life without Zion meant Duke covered the spread just twice in four games.
If Duke takes down Syracuse, the North Carolina Tar Heels will be likely waiting at the semifinals. First, they have to deal with the Orange, who recently beat Pittsburgh 73-59 without any problems in the second round of the ACC tournament. Syracuse covered the spread against the Panthers as 5.5-point favorites. The Orange have won only four of their last ten games and closed out the regular season in a major disappointing way. In the previous eight games, Syracuse has covered the spread four times. Although, they had awful showings against Virginia and Clemson as they were hammered by double-digits.
MyBookie.ag has Duke as an 11.5-point favorite for this one. The last time Syracuse was a double-digit underdog was against North Carolina on February 26th. They covered the spread losing by eight. It is only the third time this season the Orange opened as underdogs of 10-points or more. The other time was precisely against Duke on January 14th where they were 17-point underdogs on the road. Syracuse shocked the College Basketball world then and won outright 95-91 in one of the biggest upsets of the season.
Can they do it again? It’s unlikely they can win and advance, but Syracuse is playing for a March Madness berth. The Orange needs to show they are worthy; otherwise, they might not get in the tournament, just like in 2017 and 2015. A couple of things stand out from this game, other than just Zion’s comeback. He might be rusty after a month of doing very little to none work. And Syracuse is not scared of Duke. They have split the season series, and despite I don’t expect them to pull another upset, 11.5-points seem a little high for my taste. What’s the play? Syracuse +11.5.
Spread: Duke -11.5
Money line: Syracuse +528
Game Total: 144
Date: Thursday, March 14, 2019
Game Time: 8:00 PM ET
Venue: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
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