ACC NCAA Basketball: Blue Devils @ Fighting Irish Preview

January 28, 2019 by Ryan Knuppel

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs Duke Blue DevilsTwo ACC rivals face off in South Bend, Indiana as the #2 ranked Blue Devils travel to take on the Fighting Irish. Duke leads the all time series 24-7, and has won 4 straight in the series.

Duke won their last time out in a 66-53 win over Georgia Tech at home on Saturday. Last Saturday (1/19) they beat #4 ranked Virginia at home 72-70, and on Tuesday (1/22) they beat Pitt on the road 79-64.

Notre Dame lost to Virginia at home last time out 82-55 on Saturday. Last Saturday (1/19) they lost 77-73 to #17 ranked N.C. State at home, and on Tuesday (1/22) they beat Georgia Tech 63-61.

Duke is 11-8 ATS this season, 4-2 ATS on the road, and 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games. Notre Dame is 7-13 ATS this season, 5-10 ATS at home, and 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games.

Bovada has the Blue Devils as 13 point favourites with an O/U total of 149.

Duke Blue Devils

(17-2 overall, 5-1 on the road, 6-1 in conference)

Duke is extremely dangerous in all facets, averaging 87.4 PPG, 42.9 RPG, 17.3 APG, 7.6 BPG, 10.5 SPG, and 13 TPG. As a team they are shooting 48.2% from the field, 30.2% from 3 point range, and 68.3% from the free throw line. Defensively, they hold opponents to 66.2 PPG, 35.9 RPG, 38.8% shooting from the field, and 28.9% shooting from 3 point range. As per usual, Duke is headlined by youth in a trio of great freshmen.

R.J. Barrett leads the way with 23.9 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 3.9 APG, and 1.0 SPG. Barrett shoots 45.4% from the field, 31.1% from 3, and 69.6% from the free throw line. Physical phenom Zion Williamson averages 21.7 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 2.3 APG, 2.0 SPG and 1.8 BPG. He shoots 67.4% from the field, 27% from 3, and 68.1% from the free throw line. Cam Reddish helps out, averaging 12.8 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2.0 APG and 2.1 SPG. Tre Jones (8.0 PPG/ 5.6 APG/ 2.0 SPG), Jack White (5.7 PPG/ 6.2 RPG/ 1.3 BPG), Marques Bolden (5.4 PPG/ 4.6 RPG/ 2.2 BPG) and Alex O’Connell (4.6 PPG/ 0.9 SPG/ 35.6% from 3) chip in as well.

Key Injuries

None

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

(11-9 overall, 11-4 at home, 1-6 in conference)

Notre Dame has not had the season they hoped for, and they are averaging 73.1 PPG, 38.6 RPG, 14.1 APG, 5.7 BPG, 5.3 SPG, and 10 TPG. As a team they are shooting 40.7% from the field, 32.8% from 3 point range, and 73.6% from the free throw line. Defensively they hold opponents to 69.4 PPG, 38.9 RPG, 42.2% shooting from the field, and 34.3% shooting from 3 point range.

Big man John Mooney paces the Irish with 14.5 PPG, 10.8 RPG, and 1.1 BPG while shooting 52.5% from the field, 45.5% from 3, and 79.7% from the free throw line. T.J. Gibbs supports him with 13.4 PPG, 3.9 APG and 0.8 SPG while shooting 34.5% from the field, 34.1% from 3, and 72.3% from the free throw line. D.J. Harvey is featured as well, averaging 11.1 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 0.6 SPG. Dane Goodwin (7.6 PPG/ 3.5 RPG/1.2 APG), Nate Laszewski (7.1 PPG/4.2 RPG/ 34.1% from 3), and Prentiss Hubb (7.1 PPG/3.7 APG/ 0.9 SPG) help out as well.

G Rex Pflueger (knee) – out, G Robby Carmody (shoulder) – out, F Juwan Durham (ankle) – out

Predictions

If Notre Dame hopes to make this a game, they need to draw out possessions and make Duke work defensively, taking open shots when they present themselves. However, Notre Dame desperately misses Rex Pflueger who was one of their featured 3 point shooters and quality scorers.

Even with the amount of star power the Blue Devils feature, they are not a great 3 point shooting team, but they make their living in transition, and if they turn this into a track meet it could turn ugly. Even in the half court, the Irish lack the size and physicality to close off the paint from guys like Barrett and Williamson. Theoretically, a 13 point home dog in conference play seems like the right move, but Duke is just at a completely different level than an offensively inept team like Notre Dame team that is sapped of their quality depth pieces.

Final Pick: Duke Blue Devils (-13)

Ryan Knuppel

Ryan Knuppel Author

Ryan (aka Knup) has been writing sports betting content for over a decade now. He covers anything and everything related to United Stats sports including football, basketball, baseball, golf and more. He has finished first place in several gambling related contests over the years which gives him instant credibility in the betting world. Ryan is a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan that currently resides in sunny Orlando, Florida.

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