The Pittsburgh Panthers head to Cameron Indoor Stadium for a showdown with the 9th ranked Duke Blue Devils on Tuesday night.
The Panthers had their two-game winning streak halted by Syracuse last Saturday. Pittsburgh is currently in the middle of the pack in the Atlantic Coast Conference and they are playing their second straight road game. The Blue Devils ended their two-game slide with a mauling of Miami last Tuesday. The Blue Devils are just one game behind ACC leader Louisville and are looking to stay in the thick of the fight. Duke leads the all-time series between these two teams at 12-7 and they have won the last four head to head meetings.
The Panthers lost 61-69 to Syracuse last Saturday after scoring a season-low 21 points in the first half and falling behind by double digits early in the game. The defeat ended a two-game winning streak for Pittsburgh and dropped them to 13-7 overall and 4-5 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Justin Champagnie led the Panthers with 14 points and 9 rebounds. The freshman averaged 15.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game while shooting 13-20 from the field in two games played last week. Pittsburgh shot just 38.9% from the floor and 23.8% from behind the three-point area.
The Panthers are scoring an average of 66.4 points per game and they have scored over 70 points just seven times this season. Pittsburgh is giving up 62.1 points per game this season and they are hauling an average of 35.2 rebounds per game while issuing 12.5 dimes per contest.
The Duke Blue Devils bounced back from back to back losses with a mauling of Miami last Tuesday. The Blue Devils are 1-1 in their current three-game homestand and they look to finish with a winning record. Duke is 9-2 at Cameron Indoor Stadium this season and they are 6-2 in the ACC Conference.
Matthew Hurt scored 22 points against Miami, including 15 in the opening half as Duke erected a 23-point halftime lead and never looked back. Tre Jones had 16 points and 6 assists while Vernon Carey added 11 points for the Blue Devils. They shot 53% from the field and made 11 of 25 three-pointers.
Duke is the 5th highest-scoring team in the nation at 82.9 points per game and they are allowing their opponents to score an average of 63.9 points per game. The Blue Devils are hauling down 39.9 rebounds per game and are issuing an average of 16.4 assists per game this season.
Pittsburgh is 11-5 SU in their last 16 games played. The Panthers are 2-18 SU in their last 20 games played on the road, and 6-14 SU in their last 20 games against the Atlantic Coast Conference. Duke is 16-3 SU in their last 19 games played. The Blue Devils are 6-1 SU in their last seven games played on the road, and 16-4 SU in their last 20 January games. Head to head, the Duke is 6-2 SU in their last eight games played against Pittsburgh.
This is going to be an emotional game because this will be Jeff Capel’s first game at Cameron as the head coach of Pittsburgh. Capel played for Duke and was Coach K’s former assistant. The Panthers won back to back games before coming up short in their last game against Syracuse.
The Blue Devils are well-rested heading to this contest. Duke ended a two-game losing spell with a demolition of Miami last Tuesday and had plenty of time to prepare for this game. Although they are the better team, the Blue Devils need to bring the energy against the Panthers who will be looking for the upset.
Duke is 6-2 in ACC play and four of those wins have been by 30 or more points. Pittsburgh has a 4-5 Conference record and they are 1-3 in ACC road games this season. The Panthers tend to fall behind early and finish strong. Duke will be off to a fast start here and the Blue Devil should put the game away early.
PREDICTION: DUKE BLUE DEVILS
The Panthers are 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games played. Pittsburgh is 2-3 ATS in five road games played this season, and 3-8 ATS in their last 11 January games. The Blue Devils are 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games played. Duke is 4-2 ATS in their last six games played at home, and 5-2 ATS in their last seven Tuesday games. Head to head, the Blue Devils are 2-1 ATS in their last three games played against the Panthers.
16.5 points are too many to give regularly but when you look at the Blue Devils, they have won their last three home games by at least 30 points. Duke is shooting the ball at 49% this season while Pittsburgh is just shooting 39% from the field on the road this year. I don’t think that the Panthers will have an answer for Vernon Carey. I like the Blue Devils to cover the big spread at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
PREDICTION: DUKE -16
The total has gone under in 7 out of the 13 games played by Pittsburgh this season. The under is 4-1 in the last five road games played by the Panthers but the over is 5-1 in their last six Tuesday games. The total has gone over in five out of the last six games played by Duke. The over is 4-2 in the Blue Devils’ last six games played at home. Head to head, the under is 6-2 in the last eight meetings between the Panthers and Blue Devils.
The Blue Devils have one of the best offenses in the nation this year, ranking 5th overall in adjusted offensive efficiency. Duke plays a fast tempo game and they have played to the over in eight of their 11 home games this season. Pittsburgh has allowed 68.12 points per game in their last eight assignments. I don’t think the Panthers can slow down the Blue Devils’ offense here.
PREDICTION: OVER 137.5
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