The Boston College Eagles face off against the Duke Blue Devils on New Year’s Eve, and although it might seem that No. 2 Duke will be the clear winner, there are still a lot of questions on how to bet this game. The Eagles come in as 23.5-point underdogs, when the last time they played the Blue Devils, they fell by 25 points when they were spotted only 24.
Duke will be missing some significant players from that meeting last year, which could play into the point spread. Boston College is 6-7 ATS this year, which isn’t great, Duke comes in at 7-5, which isn’t much better but it gives us an idea of how we should play this one.
Trying To Pull Off A New Year’s Eve Upset
Boston College (8-5) is getting spotted 23.5 points in a game against one of the best teams in the country, making it a heavy underdog. The Eagles are currently riding a four-game winning streak, with notable victories against California and Notre Dame.
The unfortunate thing for the Eagles heading into this game is a couple of key injuries that have plagued them this year, not to mention they’re only shooting 32 percent from the three-point line.
Although there have been many upsets in the world of college basketball, Boston College just plainly doesn’t have enough offense to stay in contention with Duke throughout this game. Averaging just 67.6 points and losing to bigger schools like Richmond and Northwestern don’t help the Eagles argument for being able to cover a 23.5-point spread.
If that wasn’t enough to convince you, keep in mind that the Boston College road offense averages 63.75 points, as those four points can make or break your ticket.
Wants To Keep The Train Moving
The Blue Devils are on a five-game winning streak after an uncharacteristic loss to Stephen F. Austin, bringing them to an 11-1 record on the season. This Duke team might not mirror the squad from last year, but it’s still the eighth-ranked team in points per game at 82.9.
Although they can still put points on the board, the Blue Devils have had some struggles from the three-point line, shooting at 33.9 percent, ranking them at 156th in college basketball.
What the Blue Devils do well is pass the ball, averaging 16.2 assists per game, and shooting at 47.14 percent from the field. Even in games where Duke was an underdog like its game against Michigan State, it was able to come out on top, showing that even though it lost some key players, it’s still one of the best.
Tre Jones and Vernon Carey Jr. have been keeping this team in contention. The Blue Devils average 9.3 steals per game, 41.7 rebounds per game, and along with their assist average, Duke will do the majority of the scoring in this game.
Pick and Prediction
Although this is a fairly large point spread, Boston College is 2-5 ATS against Duke, which doesn’t give me any confidence. Duke, however, is on a five-game win streak, playing some of its best basketball, and averaging 82.9 points.
The Eagles lost by 18 to Richmond, a team that only averages 76.3 points and 33.7 rebounds per game. Even with Boston College coming in at +23.5, I doubt that will be enough to cover the Duke offense, especially if Jones plays.
If history shows us anything, Boston College being 2-5 ATS against Duke, 3-7 on the over/under, and only averaging 63.75 points on the road, betting Duke -23.5, with the under, is a pretty safe pick to make.