Duke vs. Georgia Tech Odds & Pick: Back Yellow Jackets in Key ACC Clash

Duke vs. Georgia Tech Odds & Pick: Back Yellow Jackets in Key ACC Clash article feature image

Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Moses Wright.

  • Both Duke and Georgia Tech are on the bubble entering Tuesday night's ACC clash.
  • The Blue Devils won this matchup earlier this season at home, but the Yellow Jackets have been playing well of late.
  • Pat McMahon breaks down why he's backing Josh Pastner's team as home favorites.

Duke vs. Georgia Tech Odds

Duke Odds+1.5
Georgia Tech Odds-1.5
Moneyline+105 / -125
Time | TV8 p.m. ET | ACC Network
Odds as of Monday Night and via PointsBet.

A pair of bubble teams meet in Atlanta on Tuesday night when Duke takes on Georgia Tech. Both are on a recent surge after they appeared to be out of the NCAA tournament picture a month ago.

Duke 11-9 (9-7 ACC) had won four straight before dropping a heartbreaker to Louisville on Saturday in overtime. While that loss was a slight setback to their tournament chances, the Blue Devils have two great opportunities for Quad 1 wins this week with road games at the Yellow Jackets and North Carolina.

The Yellow Jackets (13-8, 9-6 ACC) have reeled off four straight wins of their own.

Josh Pastner's club is a prime example of a team playing their best ball entering March. Georgia Tech has a great chance to improve its ACC tournament seeding this week. After this revenge opportunity against Duke, the Yellow Jackets play a very beatable Wake Forest team on the road.

This is not a club that teams will want to see in the ACC tournament in Greensboro next week.

The Matchup

When Georgia Tech has the ball

The Yellow Jackets quietly have one of the best offenses in the ACC. They take their time on offense (222nd in adjusted tempo) but are very efficient with the ball. Georgia Tech ranks 18th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency, per KenPom.

Georgia Tech is paced by its big three: Moses Wright, Jose Alvarado and Mike DeVoe. The trio averages a combined 48.2 points per game.

The veteran guards Alvarado and DeVoe are known for their ability to attack the basket and create their own shots, but both are also shooting at a great clip from beyond the arc this season. Alvarado is a career best 42.4% from 3-point range, and DeVoe is close behind at 39.5%.

Wright was more known for his defense entering this season, but he's been a monster on the offensive end. He averages a team best 17.5 points on 53.5% shooting and is a nightmare for opposing big men to contain in the paint.

The Yellow Jackets also get consistent contributions from Jordan Usher (10.9 points per game) and Bubba Parham (7.3). While not very deep, Georgia Tech doesn't get in foul trouble often and can rely on its tight rotation. The bottom line is this offense is difficult to stop because it shoots well from the perimeter (39th in effective field goal percentage) and doesn't beat itself (46th in turnover rate).

Duke's defense is nothing to write home about, but it has been a little better of late. On the season, the Blue Devils rank 97th in adjusted defensive efficiency and allow 71.8 points per game in ACC play.

The shooting defense has been poor, with the Blue Devils allowing 46.1% from the floor and 37.4% from 3. Duke's opponent effective field goal percentage of 52.1% ranks 255th nationally, per teamrankings.com.

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When Duke has the ball

Finding offense hasn't been much of an issue for the Blue Devils, who boast a top-15 offensive efficiency ranking.

Duke ranks 42nd in effective field goal percentage at 54%. It's a strong outside shooting team, hitting 35.7% from deep as a group. The Blue Devils haven't missed a beat since Jalen Johnson opted out, averaging 77 points on 50.9% shooting over their last four.

Much of Duke's offensive success can be attributed to the emergence of Matthew Hurt in his sophomore campaign. He leads the ACC in scoring at 19.3 points per game and has been incredibly efficient, ranking fourth in the conference in 3-point percentage (45.8%) and eighth in field goal percentage (56.9%).

DJ Steward (13.1 points per game) has been strong all season, as well. Since Johnson's departure, a number of different Blue Devils have stepped up to fill the scoring void that he left.

One player that Mike Krzyzewski would like to see some more consistency out of is freshman guard Jeremy Roach, who scores 9.0 points per game but is just 28.6% from beyond the arc this season. Roach was in double figures and shot it well in recent wins over Virginia and Syracuse, but he managed a combined five points on 2-of-11 shooting in the Wake Forest and Louisville games.

Georgia Tech went through some struggles defensively early in the season, but have really turned a corner as of late. During their current four game winning streak, the Yellow Jackets are surrendering under 64 points per game and holding opponents to 44.2% shooting from the floor. For the season, they rank 63rd in adjusted defensive efficiency.

Georgia Tech can be very disruptive defensively, forcing turnovers on 21.8% of their opponents possessions. Three Yellow Jackets rank in the top ten in the ACC in steals per game, led by Alvarado, who's putting up a league best 2.8. Wright is fourth in the ACC in steals (1.6) and also fifth in blocks per game (1.7). Both Wright and Alvarado have great cases to be on the ACC all-defensive team.

Betting Analysis & Pick

With so much at stake for both teams, a close and hard-fought game is expected.

The first matchup in Cameron Indoor was tight throughout, with Duke pulling away late for a 75-68 win. Both teams had poor shooting nights from the field, but the difference in the game ultimately came at the free throw line. The Yellow Jackets only took five trips to the line, while Duke got there 22 times and converted on 18 attempts.

I'd expect Pastner to make it a point of emphasis to his team to be more aggressive this time around. Look for the Yellow Jackets to pound it inside with Wright and attack the rim with their guards in an effort to earn more trips to the charity stripe.

For me, Georgia Tech's edge on the defensive end should be the difference in this game. Having the more trustworthy defense combined with the confidence the Yellow Jackets are playing with at the moment gives me faith that they'll get the win and cover at home.

Pick: Georgia Tech -1.5(up to -2)

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