We have a battle in the ACC set to tip-off on Tuesday night as the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (7-4) travel to Durham, NC, to take on the Duke Blue Devils (5-5). The Yellow Jackets are coming off a hard-fought loss to Virginia, 64-62, their second in ACC play, as they come into this one 3-2 in conference play. Where does the best value lie for bettors? Let’s look at all angles in our Georgia Tech vs Duke betting preview.
Duke is coming off its third straight loss after starting 3-0 in conference play, putting the Blue Devils at 3-3 and in seventh place in the league.
For those betting online, the Blue Devils are five-point favorites at home.
Looking To Bounce Back
Playing nearly a perfect game for much of the contest, Georgia Tech made NCAA basketball news when it pushed No. 13 Virginia to the brink on Saturday. The Yellows Jackets were unable to come away with a win on a shot that was in and out in the final seconds. This game was affirming for a team that prides itself on getting up and down and playing team defense.
The challenge for Georgia Tech will be how it is able to respond against Duke. In this series, Duke has been as dominant as you can be against a team, going 37-3 and winning the last 13 meetings.
Duke is more vulnerable than it has been in the past but if the Yellow Jackets are still hung up on almost upsetting Virginia, this could end up costing them.
Georgia Tech is averaging 78.7 points per game while shooting 47.5% from the field and 38.3% from the 3-point line. Tech is led by senior guard Jose Alvardo and forward Moses Wright, both of whom are averaging better than 17.0 points per game and shooting better than 40% from 3-point range.
These two are going to be key to making sure Georgia Tech comes away with a win and how the team responds.
All Hope Is Not Lost … Yet
Duke continues to struggle, dropping another game on the road to ACC rival Louisville. This loss didn’t help the Blue Devils’ NCAA March Madness resume, marking the program’s first three-game losing streak since January of 2016.
Head coach Mike Krzyzewski has been the center of media attention after a dispute in a post-game press conference.
Duke still doesn’t have a quality win on its resume and is 0-3 against the nation’s Top 25. The Blue Devils fell to 0-5 against teams ranked within the top 75 of the nation.
It’s hard to count Duke out quite yet, though, given the program’s history. The team is looking much improved of late, as the roster is getting back to full strength.
Sophomore forward Matthew Hurt played the best game of his career against Louisville, going for 24 points and eight rebounds on 9-of-13 shooting from the field. Hurt fouled out late in the game after Duke took a 65-64 lead with 1:30 left.
Losing the rim protection allowed the Cardinals to take advantage of attacking the basket, as they went on a 6-0 run to finish the game.
Going forward, Duke is going to need to find improvement and consistency within its team. This team has a great bunch of five-star recruits, but the effort and energy needs to continue to grow.
Duke ends January with two winnable games before having an easy start to its February. This should help the Blue Devils’ chances of getting back into the NCAA Tournament conversation.
Betting Lines and Pick
Georgia Tech is going to need its star duo of Alvardo and Wright to be the keys for a Yellow Jacket win. Both of these players are shooting over 40% from 3-point range, and against a Duke team that struggles defending the perimeter, the emphasis should be on getting these guys good looks early on.
Duke played better against Lousiville and gave itself a chance to win that game and a chance to tie at the end of regulation before three attempts fell short in the closing seconds. The turnovers continue to be an issue for Duke, so taking care of the ball against a Georgia Tech team that prides itself on the defensive end needs to be the main point of this matchup.
Duke is a five-point favorite at home. The Blue Devils have won 13 straight against the Yellow Jackets, but given the kind of season Duke is having, it’s okay to assume there is an upset brewing in Durham.
Georgia Tech played a near-perfect game against Virginia and is looking to continue playing good basketball and get a bid to the NCAA Tournament. A win over Duke, even when the team is down, always looks great on the resume. When making your college basketball picks, take the Yellow Jackets in this one.