ACC basketball will be front-and-center on American prime-time TV late Tuesday night as the #2-ranked Duke Blue Devils travel to take on the unranked Pitt Panthers at 9 PM east coast time.
The Panthers are resurgent on the hardcourt under new coach Jeff Capel, upsetting the Louisville Cardinals and beating Florida State handily. Pittsburgh currently stands at 12-6 overall. Duke, meanwhile, lost unexpectedly to Syracuse at home last week.
Bookmakers imposed a (-12) opening point spread on Coach K’s squad, however, making Duke the almost-prohibitive favorite in Tuesday’s battle at The Pete.
It hasn’t stopped high-rollers from going all-in on the visiting Blue Devils.
The line has moved to (-13) in less than a day since opening at Sportsbetting.ag. The betting site has also increased the house percentage by 5% on Duke-to-cover wagers, indicating that the house’s handicappers believe that the favorites are more likely to win by 14+ points than win by 12 or less.
Perhaps the betting public has been watching Duke’s Zion Williamson. A muscular young athlete who can shoot lights out, Williamson is money from the field, making about 2 out of every 3 shot attempts. The freshman is among 3 Duke players averaging double figures in scoring, alongside R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish.
It’s not all good news for Coach K. Point guard Tre Jones is injured, potentially turning the Duke offense into an engine without a distributor.
Jones has been averaging 5.7 assists per game. The teen is now dealing with a separated shoulder, with his return date not being set in stone.
Pitt’s bid for an upset in the Atlantic Coast Conference battle will likely revolve around Xavier Johnson, a freshman combo guard who is leading the Panthers with 17.1 points per game.
Capel’s team has only lost twice at home this season, once in a shocker to Niagara and once to North Carolina.
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