NC State vs Duke Odds & Prediction: Blue Devils to Win Big

NC State vs Duke Odds & Prediction: Blue Devils to Win Big article feature image

Samuel Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Duke’s Kyle Filipowski.

NC State vs Duke Odds

Tuesday, Feb. 28
7 p.m. ET
NC State Odds
-105o / -115u
Duke Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Before this season, the NC State Wolfpack had lost 14 of their last 18 games against their in-state rivals, the Duke Blue Devils. Over the years, it has become a second-tier rivalry, with most Duke fans barely finding the energy to care about the Wolfpack and North Carolina always at the top of their mind.

The Wolfpack haven't beaten the Blue Devils twice in the same season since 1994-95. None of the players on either current roster were alive that season.

Thanks to a dominant performance in Raleigh in early January, in which the Wolfpack led wire-to-wire and built a lead as large as 30 points, NC State can end that streak with a win on the road in Durham on Tuesday night.

A win would do wonders for both teams' seeding, yet it's the bragging rights on Tobacco Road that will have the more lasting impact between these ACC foes.

NC State Wolfpack

The Wolfpack have an interesting recipe offensively that has proven difficult for some teams to stop.

NC State leads the ACC and ranks in the top five nationally in taking care of the basketball, turning it over on just 12% of possessions in conference play. The Pack have won the turnover battle in 24 of their 31 games this year, going 2-5 when they cough it up more than their opponent.

NC State is also smart about its shots at the rim. No team in the ACC gets their shot blocked less often than the Wolfpack.

In theory, a limited number of turnovers or blocked shots should lead to plenty of quality looks at the rim.

Here's the catch: NC State also has the lowest assist rate in the conference. The Wolfpack live and die with isolation. Jarkel Joiner and Terquavion Smith are skilled playmakers, but more in terms of getting their own shot rather than making something happen for a teammate. Smith, for example, has made 95 2-pointers this season, with just 13 of those makes coming via an assist, according to Hoop-Math.

DJ Burns can also be a great scoring option in the post, though he rarely creates for others.

In total, it becomes an odd test for defenses. Do opposing coaches trust their players to get stops on an island, or do they send help and create chances for these isolation scorers to locate an open teammate?

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Duke Blue Devils

It's hard to tell if this Duke team is hitting its stride at the right time or if the Blue Devils simply hit the easiest portion of an already fairly soft ACC schedule.

Duke has won four in a row, three of which came at home in Durham. Three of the four wins also came against teams outside KenPom's top 100, and all four wins came against teams with no prayer of playing in the Big Dance without a miracle in March.

While those wins may not have taught us anything substantial about the Blue Devils, they weren't for naught. For a team that starts three freshmen (and brings another off the bench for big minutes), conference wins in February are both resume-builders and learning moments.

The most recent stretch of games has been especially key for freshmen wing Dariq Whitehead.

Dariq Whitehead in Duke's last 10 games:

– 53.8% on above-the-break 3s
– 54.5% on corner 3s
– Attempting 58.5% of his total shots from 3

“I’m sure,” Jon Scheyer says, “a scouting report is gonna say, try to take away the 3 for him.”

— Brendan Marks (@BrendanRMarks) February 27, 2023

Whitehead has made at least one 3 in each of his last five games, adding a much-needed shooting and spacing element to a Blue Devils offense that could feel stagnant at times.

NC State vs Duke Betting Pick

Duke is 15-0 straight up at home this season. It has also won all but one home game against NC State since January 1995.

Those are two awfully powerful trends to be bucking if you're looking to back the Pack. However, I also understand that neither of those statistics are necessarily relevant to the matchup between this Duke team and the NC State team traveling down the road to play in Durham.

The Wolfpack won the last meeting in Raleigh, thanks in large part to Duke's 21 turnovers. The Blue Devils have struggled in that department this year, though NC State isn't particularly adept at forcing them.

I lean toward the last meeting being more of an aberration, with Duke happy to take revenge on its home court.

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