The Duke Blue Devils head on the road this Tuesday as solid favorites against the Pittsburgh Panthers in this highlighted ACC clash on ESPN at 9 p.m.
Duke proved that you are never good enough to beat everyone, but deep enough to survive a key loss in player personnel all in the same week. After losing to Syracuse 95-91 in overtime as 17-point home favorites last Monday while also losing point guard Tre Jones with a shoulder injury, the Blue Devils beat previously undefeated Virginia 72-70 on Saturday night. They have failed to cover against the spread in their last three games after closing as 3.5-point home favorites against the Cavaliers.
With Tre Jones out of the lineup, Duke turned to freshman Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett on Saturday night. Barrett scored a game-high 30 points while going 11-for-19 from the field and Williamson added 27 points and nine rebounds to the Blue Devils’ biggest win of the season. The team as a whole shot 51 percent from the field to help squeeze out the two-point win.
The Panthers are farther down the standings in the ACC at 2-3 straight-up in conference play, but they continue to play teams tough this season as underdogs. They have already beaten Louisville and Florida State at home while closing as underdogs and they covered as 11-point road underdogs in a six-point loss to North Carolina State. Overall, Pitt is 12-6 SU with a profitable 13-5 record ATS at BetAnySports. It is 10-3 ATS at home this season.
Xavier Johnson has had the hot hand for the Panthers all season long with an average of 17.1 points per game while shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 40.3 percent from three-point range. In the 75-62 upset at home against then-No. 11 Florida State on Jan. 14, Trey McGowens went off for 30 points. Johnson added 18 points to the winning cause
Coming off a very emotional week with the loss of a star player and a win over your toughest competition in the conference could set Duke up for a slight letdown on Tuesday night. The Blue Devils get the SU win, but Pitt covers with the 13 points.