DUKE BLUE DEVILS (22-4)
at BOSTON COLLEGE EAGLES (8-18)
Tip-off: Sunday, 6:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Duke -15, Total: 136Ĺ
After winning in dramatic fashion yet again Thursday night, No. 5 Duke will head north to take on a Boston College squad that sits in the ACC cellar.
The Eagles are among the worst rebounding and scoring teams in the nation, grabbing just 29.9 RPG and notching 59.9 PPG. Traveling to Chestnut Hill has never been a problem for Duke, which is 4-1 SU in its past five games in the Eaglesí nest. But although B.C. is a dismal 8-18 SU, the team is an outstanding 9-3 ATS in ACC play and 12-6 ATS as an underdog this year. Can Duke cover this hefty spread on Sunday night? For the answer, check out the College Basketball Weekend 6-Pack for picks covering all the big games in college basketball each weekend.
Although the Blue Devils are coming off an ATS loss to NC State, winning 78-73 but failing to cover a 10-point spread Thursday, it took them shooting uncharacteristically poorly from deep (8-of-29 on threes) to keep the Wolfpack in it. On the season, Duke is shooting 39% from long range. Freshman Austin Rivers (15.0 PPG) leads the show for Duke as an excelling dribble-driver and shooter, making 1.7 3PG. He has upped that production in his past five games with 18.8 PPG, making 16-of-37 threes. Seth Curry, however, stole the show against NC State Thursday night with a season-high, 26-point performance that paced the Blue Devils second-half comeback in erasing a 20-point deficit. Ryan Kelly (12.2 PPG, 5.3 RPG) is a forward, but joins that duo of guards as a threat from deep (41% 3-pt FG), as does guard Andre Dawkins (9.3 PPG) who may be the best spot-up, three-point shooter on the team. In the paint, Duke is led by Mason Plumlee (11.5 PPG, 9.9 RPG) and Miles Plumlee (6.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG) who tag-team to grab a solid amount of rebounds. Miles had a weak performance against the Wolfpack, but grabbed a career-high 22 boards in the game before that, showing his ability on the glass. This FoxSheets trend also likes the Blue Devils to win and cover on Sunday.
Play Against - Home underdogs of 10 or more points (BOSTON COLLEGE) - a terrible offensive team (<=63 PPG) against an average defensive team (67-74 PPG), after allowing 80 points or more. (25-6 since 1997.) (80.6%, +18.4 units. Rating = 2*).
Bright spots are few and far between for this Boston College team that features just one player who averages double-digit points. Matt Humphrey (10.2 PPG) paces the team as a threat from the outside (1.7 threes per game), but is not an efficient scorer (34.5% FG). Three other players average nine or more points however, with Ryan Anderson (9.9 PPG), Patrick Heckmann (9.1 PPG) and Dennis Cliford (9.0 PPG). Heckmannís status remains up in the air though, after a bout with mono has forced him to miss the teamís past six games. Anderson could be the key to the Eagles playing a competitive game as the teamís leader on the glass (6.8 RPG). He is coming off a career-best performance as well, registering 22 points and 10 rebounds against Maryland, finishing his third consecutive game with double-digit points. At 6-foot-8, however, the freshman will have a hard time matching up with the Plumlees. This three-star FoxSheets trend shows that the Eagles can hang with very good teams.
BOSTON COLLEGE is 7-0 ATS (+7.0 Units) versus good teams - outscoring their opponents by 4+ points/game after 15+ games this season. The average score was BOSTON COLLEGE 58.1, OPPONENT 66.1 - (Rating = 3*).