Normally we would automatically assume a big effort from Duke in a quick payback chance against a Tobacco Road rival that just put a 22-point whipping on the Blue Devils a couple of weeks earlier. But something seems amiss with this edition of Coach K’s squad that has had trouble exhibiting much consistency in recent weeks. Monday night’s Duke vs. NC State preview, courtesy of The Gold Sheet:
Date/Time: 03-2-2020, 19:00 EDT
Opening Spread: Duke -13
Opening Total: 151
The Blue Devils are 2-6 against the spread in their last eight contests, including the aforementioned 88-66 loss in nearby Raleigh on Feb. 19, and an inexplicable 113-101 double-OT loss vs. ACC also-ran Wake Forest last Tuesday. This Duke version does not have the sort of taste for defense that some of Coach K’s better entries have displayed, reflected when Wolfpack guard Markell Johnson scored a career-high 28 points in their earlier meeting. With NC State desperate for the sort of marquee win that could greatly enhance its Big Dance at-large prospects, the Blue Devils will be hard-pressed to extend any kind of margin in this contest. The last two meetings between these two teams have soared over the point total. Prior to Saturday’s snoozer with Virginia, the over was 11-2 in Duke’s last 13 games.
Duke vs. NC State Pick: Duke 84 – NC State 78
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