Duke vs Miami Betting Preview
Losers of four straight, the Miami Hurricanes (6-10, 2-9) are fading fast in what has become an underwhelming season for the ACC. Looking for a signature win, they will play host to an emerging Duke team (7-5, 5-3) coming off back to back home victories to Georgia Tech and Clemson.
This game will tip-off Monday night at 7:00 pm ET on ESPN.
Miami’s Struggles Continue
The Canes, coming off a 66-54 defeat to Wake Forest this past Saturday, are currently listed as 11 point home dogs. Miami is now 14th in what has become a down year for the ACC, as they’re now in danger of clinching a sub .500 conference record with games against #16 Virginia Tech and North Carolina looming.
Three-point shooting has been an issue all year long for the Canes, as they rank 320th in the country in 3FG%, shooting a meager 28.39% from beyond the arc. Offensive woes have snake bitten head coach Jim Larrañaga’s ball club all year long, and look for this to continue against a stingy Duke defense that ranks in the top 40 of KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency.
Once again, expect Larrañaga to lean on sophomore point guard Isaiah Wong to carry the load offensively. Averaging over 17 points per game, Wong has been one of the lone bright spots for the Canes this season. He’s hit double-digit scoring in all but two games and has led the team in minutes by a rather wide margin.
Miami’s injuries are mounting, as the unexpected departure of freshmen forward Matt Cross from the program has left the Canes with just six scholarship players active for Monday’s contest.
Pre-season All ACC point guard, Chris Lykes has missed a whopping 14 games due to a high ankle sprain. The senior was supposed to be an integral piece to this Hurricane team, as he would’ve helped take a lot of pressure off of Wong and company.
Moreover, the losses of Rodney Miller, Sam Waardenburg, Earl Timberlake, and Elijah Olaniyi have further bewildered Larrañaga’s group, leaving very little room for error moving forward.
Duke Hitting Their Stride
At 6th in the ACC, Duke will have to continue bolstering their resume if they want to solidify themselves as an NCAA tournament team. This is something that hasn’t been said about a Coach K led team this late in the season in quite some time, as Duke’s slow start to the season has plagued their chances of getting a top-four seed in March’s big dance.
Leading the Blue Devils in scoring and rebounding, Sophomore forward Matthew Hurt has taken a huge step forward this year — nearly doubling his scoring production from a season ago (18.7 from 9.7). He’s shooting an efficient 53.8% from the field, including a staggering 44.4% from 3.
He is joined by an ensemble of impressive freshmen, highlighted by guard DJ Steward and forward Jalen Johnson. Both players have been stalwarts for Coach K’s team, averaging 13.4 and 12.0 points per game, respectively.
These three will have to lead the way for Duke if they have any chance of making a deep tournament run this postseason, as the muddled nature of the ACC could see a handful of teams competing for the conference trophy in early March.
Neither team has been particularly impressive against the number (Duke 3-9 ATS, Miami 7-9 ATS), as inconsistent play has hindered both teams.
However, with so much uncertainty surrounding this Miami program, it has become increasingly difficult to trust the Canes to keep this game competitive, so I’ll go ahead and lay the 11 points with Duke.