It might be the dead of winter, but ACC action is heating up in a big way on Monday night when the Duke Blue Devils host the Syracuse Orange. Tipoff for this important conference battle from Cameron Indoor Stadium is at 7 p.m. ET. The main focus of this contest will be just how much Duke freshman sensation Zion Williamson plays after having his eye poked against Florida State on Saturday and missing a chunk of the game. Sportsbooks list the Orange as 17-point road underdogs in the latest Duke vs. Syracuse odds. The Over-Under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 146.5, up one from the opening line as game time approaches. Before you make any Duke vs. Syracuse picks and college basketball predictions, check out what SportsLine's advanced computer model has to say.
This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has raked in the winnings for those following its picks. Over the past two years, the SportsLine Projection Model has returned over $5,200 to $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks. And it enters Week 11 of the 2018-19 college basketball season on a strong 22-8 run on all of its top-rated picks. Anybody who has been following it is way up.
Now, the model has dialed in on Syracuse vs. Duke. We can tell you it's leaning under, but it has also generated a strong point-spread pick that hits in nearly 60 percent of simulations. You can only see that one at SportsLine.
The model has considered that if Williamson is limited, head coach Mike Krzyzewski will call on Cam Reddish to take his place. The freshman forward stepped up big-time on Saturday when he swished the game-winning three-pointer in the final second against the Seminoles to seal the dramatic 80-78 victory that kept the Blue Devils undefeated in conference play. For the season, he's averaging 13.3 points and nearly two steals per contest. He's also a formidable option from beyond the arc. At Florida State, he knocked down five of his eight three-point attempts.
Duke is a blistering 10-5 against the spread this season, compared to 8-8 for Syracuse. The Blue Devils have won and covered four of their last five and are 6-2 against the number at home.
But just because the Blue Devils have plenty of firepower doesn't mean they will cover the Duke vs. Syracuse spread against Jim Boeheim, whose Orange have covered in three of their four previous head-to-head matchups.
Syracuse's game plan is predicated on its defense, and the Orange are 13th in the nation at 60.9 points allowed. Boeheim's 2-3 and 1-3-1 zone schemes befuddle offenses and force lengthy scoring droughts. Tyus Battle is a tenacious defender who knows how to score. Tops on the Orange with 17.1 points per game, he also averages 1.6 steals. He's the key to the team's success and is on the court 36 minutes a night.
The Orange's front-court pairing of Elijah Hughes and Oshae Brissett is one of the ACC's strongest. The 6-foot-6 Hughes nets 15 points per game and is the leading option from 3-point range. Brissett, who is averaging 13.9 points and team-leading 8.0 boards, utilizes his 6-8 frame for maximum advantage to box out defenders in the blocks.
Who wins Syracuse vs. Duke? And which side of the spread can you bank on nearly 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Duke vs. Syracuse spread you need to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up more than $5,200 on its college basketball picks the past two years.