By Greg Dempson
The Blue Devils enter this game off a come from behind straight up win, (85–83,) at Wake Forest on Saturday failing to cover as 6.5 point favorites. It was Duke’s first true road win of the season. As for the Fighting Irish, they lost as 7 point favorites at Georgia Tech, (72–70.)
When reviewing the all time series Duke’s resume is impressive with a straight up record of 20 – 07 but when looking a little closer, (since both teams now play in the ACC,) it’s Notre Dame that has been dominant of late going 5–1 straight up and ATS. Last year the Blue Devils lost to the Irish twice and that was with coach “K.” on the sidelines.
The Irish have lost two in a row as prior to their loss vs. the Yellow Jackets they were crushed as 2 point home favorites when playing Virginia, (70–54.) That was Notre Dame’s first home loss as they are now 12–01 straight up as a host.
Inside the Numbers
- Duke is 3–7 ATS on the road this season and 6–4 straight up in road and neutral site games.
- Notre Dame makes 83.1% of their free throw attempts at home this season and I note they’re 15–05 when making 77% or more of their free throws.
- The Blue Devils are 0-7 ATS when the line is + or –3 points the last two seasons.
- Irish Coach Brey, (a former coach “K” disciple,) is +11.80-units when the line is + or –3 points.
- Duke is 06–16 ATS after three consecutive conference games the last two seasons.
- With the Irish featuring four starters that each average more than 14 PPG and not playing a Duke team with anywhere near the type of defense that the Cavaliers produced vs. the Irish in their first home loss, I like the home team and actually make them a 2.5 point home favorite.
My first College hoops selection for this season is Notre Dame Fighting Irish at pick ’em.