No. 2 Duke is the last Atlantic Coast Conference team to play a league game this season and they will host Virginia Tech. The Hokies lost their ACC opener and they have a rugged assignment for their second outing.
After starting 5-0 SU and ATS against opposing teams they were favored by anywhere from -11 to -27, Virginia Tech is 3-4 SU (matching ATS mark) since.
After blasting Appalachian State 92-67 as 22.5-point chalk, Duke ran into teams that had virus issues and found Elon willing to fill in on short notice and whipped them 87-56, as one last tune-up for conference play.
Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Duke Blue Devils
Wednesday, December 22, 2021 – 09:00 PM EST at Cameron Indoor Stadium
Virginia Tech Has to Play More Consistently
Since the hot start versus mediocre competition, the Hokies (8-4 SU and ATS) are an interesting study. In neutral court losses against Memphis and Xavier, the lack of accurate shooting did them in. That was also the case in defeats versus Wake Forest and Dayton.
In those contests, Virginia Tech connects on just north of 38 percent and you don’t have to be an analytics analyst to determine you have to put the ball through the nylon to win.
That’s not to say Virginia Tech is a horrible shooting club, they make 46% from the field and 40% from deep, they seem to get more rattled on the road where they are at 42.4%, which is not usual for most college basketball teams.
What is perplexing about the Hokies away from home shooting woes is they have a veteran squad that starts three fifth-year players and two juniors. Collectively, that is a great deal of experience.
That’s why guards like Storm Murphy, Hunter Cattoor, and Nahiem Alleyne have to be smarter shot-takers and find ways to give leading scorer, forward Keve Aluma more chances to come up with buckets near the rim when the deep shots are not falling.
Duke Ready To Prove Their Ranking is For Real
With the ACC not nearly as powerful as it used to be, Duke will have a real chance to show they are as good as they have played thus far.
That’s not to say it will be a cakewalk, because the road in almost every conference is treacherous, which is especially so in power conferences like the ACC, where the buildings are at near full capacity. That won’t be a problem for this contest, which is in Durham.
If you have not seen the Blue Devils, here is a trio of studs to watch. Guard Wendell Moore Jr. leads the team in scoring at almost 17 PPG and is playing with the confidence of someone who wisely did not jump to the NBA too soon.
Freshman Paolo Banchero is showing who might be the best player in the country and next year’s top overall pick in the NBA draft, being one of two players in college hoops to average 16.0+ points, 5.0+ rebounds, 5.0+ assists and shooting over 50% from the field.
Another freshman, Trevor Keels rounds out Duke’s scoring leaders with 12.6 PPG, while handing out three dimes a game. Duke is more than these three players and they have exceptional role players that are part of the reason they are off to a 10-1 (6-4-1 ATS) start.
What is the Best Side to Bet On?
For college basketball picks, the point spread seems very accurate. Thus, we have to look elsewhere and the research took us to a place that says the Hokies are 6-13 ATS as underdogs and when facing an opponent with a winning home record, Virginia Tech is 2-10 ATS.
Then we did a head-to-head comparison and found the home team in this ACC clash is 8-2 ATS. Based on this information, Duke’s talent, and playing at home, along with the Hokies shooting woes on the road, the Blue Devils appear to be the right choice.
NCAAB Pick: Duke -9 (-110) at Bet365