The ACC tournament has reached its semifinal stage with Duke and Miami fighting a for a spot in the finals. Although the Canes are no pushovers, our college basketball picks are backing the Blue Devils to put their size advantage to good use.
The No. 4 seeded Duke Blue Devils face the top-seeded Miami Hurricanes in the ACC Tournament semifinals on Friday night.
The Blue Devils are at No. 21 in the latest AP Top 25 poll and seem to be peaking at the right time, while the No. 14 Hurricanes are aiming to win the conference tourney for the first time since 2013.
College basketball odds opened with the Blue Devils as 1.5-point faves before ticking up to -2.5. Here are my best free Duke vs. Miami college basketball picks and predictions for March 10.
Duke vs Miami best odds
Duke vs Miami picks and predictions
Both of these teams have been winning lately, but while the Hurricanes are coming off three consecutive one-possession games, the Blue Devils have been blowing teams out and are fresh off a 96-69 massacre of Pittsburgh last night. To be fair, Duke did get blown out when it faced the Canes in Miami last month, but the main reason it lost 81-59 in that contest was a season-high 21 turnovers.
The Blue Devils are 192nd in the country in turnover rate (17.9%) but have reduced that number to just 13.2% in their last three games. Meanwhile, Miami has an opponent turnover rate of just 13% in its last three contests, and if the Canes are unable to force turnovers they won't be able to able to get into transition and implement their up-tempo style.
If Duke can slow this game down, it should have plenty of success in the half-court against a much smaller Miami side that won't be able to compete on the glass or attack the rim. Keep in mind that in the first meeting between these teams on January 21, the Blue Devils won 68-66 at home and held the Hurricanes to just 29% shooting from 2-point range.
Duke has been locking down on defense, with freshman Dereck Lively II averaging 3.0 blocks per game since returning to the starting lineup at the end of January. With the Blue Devils 30th in the country in block rate and using their size to clog up the lane, they'll be able to slow down a Miami offense that is at its best when attacking the rim.
Duke has an extremely young lineup, and while that inexperience hurt earlier in the season, this group of five-star recruits is starting to gel at the right time.Lively isn't the only freshman who has made massive strides over the last month with Mark Mitchell and Tyrese Proctor both scoring in double digits in five straight games.
In addition, while Greensboro Coliseum isn't Cameron Indoor Stadium, the Blue Devils have historically enjoyed plenty of support from the local fan base here. That could make this showdown feel like a home game for a Duke team that went a perfect 16-0 in Durham with an average scoring margin of +15.9 ppg.
My best bet: Duke -2.5 (-110 at DraftKings)
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Duke vs Miami spread analysis
Duke has won seven-straight games, with four of those victories coming by more than 15 points. That includes last night when the Blue Devils torched Pitt by 27 points and shot a sizzling 62% from the floor despite emptying their bench.
That improved shooting was a good sign for the Blue Devils who ended the regular season outside the Top 200 in effective field goal percentage (50.2%). They've been far more consistent on the defensive end of the floor where they rank 28th in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency according to KenPom.
That stingy defense will match up against a high-octane Miami squad that ranks 13th in adjusted offensive efficiency. The Hurricanes have gone 9-1 straight up and 6-4 against the spread in their last 10 games, but they have looked vulnerable due to poor defensive play.
The Canes barely held on to beat Wake Forest 74-72 last night, barely squeezed by Pitt at home in their season finale, and just before that suffered an 85-84 defeat at home to a mediocre Florida State side.
Duke has an extremely young team with four freshmen starters and another serving as its sixth man. We already mentioned the improved play of Lively, Mitchell, and Proctor, but forward Kyle Filipowski has been its best player all season and leads the team in points (15.2) and rebounds (8.9) per game. Junior point guard Jeremy Roach is the veteran of the group and adds 13.0 ppg and 3.3 apg.
The Blue Devils have a massive advantage when it comes to size, with a pair of 7-footers (Lively and Filipowksi) in their starting lineup and 6-foot-10 center Ryan Young averaging 19 minutes per game off the bench.
Norchad Omier is generally the tallest Miami player on the floor and checks in at a modest 6-foot-7. While Omier has impressed with 14.1 ppg and 10.0 rpg, he won't be enough for the Canes to win on the glass against a Duke side that is fourth in the country in rebound rate (55.8%).
Although the Blue Devils have the size advantage, the Hurricanes have the edge when it comes to speed with their guard-oriented lineup. Isaiah Wong was named ACC Player of the Year and leads the team with 16.0 ppg, while Jordan Miller (15.2 ppg on 54/36/78 shooting splits) and Nijel Pack (13.2 ppg, 44/40/87 shooting) are also filling up the hoop.
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Duke vs Miami Over/Under analysis
The Under cashed in both meetings this season, but Duke's offense is currently playing its best ball of the year. That said, it's also shutting down foes on the defensive end of the floor and ranks just 291st in the country in adjusted tempo.
The Blue Devils were second in the conference in scoring defense (66.7 ppg allowed against ACC foes) and opponent field goal percentage (41.4%) and held an efficient Pitt offense to just 69 points last night.
They're also 26th in the country in opponent 3-point percentage (30.7%) which should help them match up against a Miami team that shoots 37% from deep.
While all those factors might indicate that the Under is the play tonight, Miami's leaky defense makes that wager tough to make. The Canes are just 206th in the country in opponent eFG% (51%) and have surrendered 76.3 ppg over their last 10 games.
Matter of fact, that previously mentioned game against Duke was their only contest during that span where they held their opponent below 70 points, making that performance a clear outlier.
Duke vs Miami betting trend to know
The Blue Devils are 4-1 ATS in their last five games vs a team with a winning straight up record. Find more college basketball betting trends for Duke vs. Miami.
Duke vs Miami game info
|Location:||Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC|
|Date:||Friday, March 10, 2023|
|Tip-off:||7:00 p.m. ET|
Duke vs Miami key injuries
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