It turns out that Mike Brey, Notre Dame head coach, isn’t retiring after this season, he’s just done coaching the Fighting Irish. Either way, this will be his final trip down to Durham as the head man in South Bend, but his first against the Jon Scheyer coached Blue Devils.
Duke won its rivalry game against North Carolina at the start of the month, but has lost both outings since.
Despite their struggles and 17-8 (8-6) record, the Blue Devils are still big favorites over the 10-15 (2-12) Fighting Irish. Brey’s last trip to Duke with Notre Dame could be memorable , but likely for all the wrong reasons. Let’s take a look at the odds.
Notre Dame vs. Duke odds, spread and total
Notre Dame vs. Duke prediction and pick
For all of Duke’s struggles in Scheyer’s first year, and there have been more than a few, they’ve been a very good team on the defensive end of the floor. The Blue Devils are 52nd in defensive efficiency, and 46th in scoring defense allowing just 64.3 points a game.
Dereck Lively II leads them with 2.3 blocks a game in just 17.5 minutes on the floor each night. As a team they are third in the ACC in blocks per game and 80th in opponent two point field goal percentage.
Despite some of the trends, this could end up being a low-scoring game. The over is 14-9-2 in Notre Dame’s games and is 8-1-2 in their last 11 games overall. Meanwhile, the over is 6-1-1 in Duke’s last eight home games against opponents with a road winning percentage less than .400.
Though Lively only played 11 minutes against UVA on Saturday, he, Kyle Filipowski and Mark Mitchell all started and they have been starting down the stretch in ACC play. Meanwhile the Blue Devils are 2-9 against the spread in their last 11, so the freshman can’t really be trusted, but it’s their limitations on offense, not defense.
Duke is 82nd on the season in offensive efficiency, 1.050, but in its last three games it has dropped to 0.887 which would be 353rd in the country. I’ll take the under in this one.
Pick: Under 140.5 (-105)
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change