Duke vs. Virginia Tech Meet in Key ACC Clash
Tuesday, February 26 at 7:00 PM ET
Line: Duke -3.5
The Duke Blue Devils clash with the Virginia Tech Hokies in a big ACC clash on Tuesday night. Duke bounced back from their tough home 88-72 loss against North Carolina with a convincing 75-65 road win against Syracuse last Saturday, while Virginia Tech is coming off an impressive 67-59 road win against Notre Dame on Saturday.
Duke has lost two in a row at Cassell Coliseum and this will be a big test for them, playing in a wild atmosphere, potentially without Zion Williamson. Virginia Tech will likely miss Justin Robinson, so it will be interesting to see what adjustments these teams will make.
Virginia Tech forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. will be the player to watch in this game, as he’s averaging 24.7 points, 12.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists, while shooting 71.4 percent from the field in his last three games, after scoring at least 20 points in all those contests.
Guard Alex O’Connell can be a difference-maker for Duke, he set career-highs in points (20) and made three-pointers (5), and tied a career-high in minutes (34) against Syracuse. His 3-point shooting was just what Duke needed against the Syracuse zone and he made the most of the opportunity that was given to him without Zion Williamson in the lineup. Can O’Connell continue that level of play on Tuesday? A big game from him would really help Duke in this one.
Virginia Tech doesn’t have great 3-point defense (35.8 percent, 11th in the ACC in conference play), so if O’Connell continues his hot shooting, RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish and Tre Jones can get lanes to penetrate against a two-point defense that allows 48.0 percent two-point shooting in conference play, (ninth in the ACC).
Zion Williamson update
Zion Williamson is officially listed as day-to-day with a ‘mild’ knee sprain suffered in the first minute of Wednesday’s game against North Carolina and he is not expected to play against Virginia Tech, as he’s resting ahead of Saturday’s contest against Miami.
NCAA Basketball Trends:
The Duke Blue Devils are:
7-3 ATS in their last 10 games following an ATS win
4-1 ATS in their last five road games against a team with a winning home record
4-1 ATS in their last five road games
The Virginia Tech Hokies are:
2-6-1 ATS in their last nine games following a straight up win
2-7 ATS in their last nine games against a team with a winning percentage above .600
2-7 ATS in their last nine games against a team with a winning straight up record
1-4-1 ATS in their last six games overall
1-5 ATS in their last six home games
Zion Williamson and Justin Robinson could miss this game, so which absence will make the most impact? The answer to this question can help determine the outcome of this contest. I expect a close game throughout, Duke has to keep Virginia Tech off the offensive glass but I still see them doing enough to get the win and cover because they just have too many weapons on offense.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Duke -3.5 (-110) at Jazz Sports
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