Miami vs. Duke Betting Tip (Jan. 21): Can Duke Really Lose 3 Games in a Row?

Miami vs. Duke Betting Tip (Jan. 21): Can Duke Really Lose 3 Games in a Row? article feature image
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Mary Holt/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Mike Krzyzewski

Last week was a fun week for most of the college basketball world, which means it was probably a very not-fun week for one specific fanbase.

Duke dropped back-to-back games on Tuesday and Saturday, and in the process fell from No. 2 in the country down to No. 8 in this week’s poll. Interestingly, both losses came in nearly identical fashion.

Ten-point favorite at Clemson? 79-72, Tigers.

Eight-and-a-half-point favorite vs. Louisville? 79-73, Cardinals.

But fear not, Crazies. The Blue Devils are back at Cameron tonight, and are 18.5-point favorites over Miami.

Because there’s no way they can lose three games in a row … right? Right?

Miami vs. Duke Betting Odds, Betting Pick

  • Spread: Duke -18.5
  • Moneyline: Duke -3100
  • Over/under: 149.5

It’s rare for a ranked team to enter a game on a two-game skid. Number one, ranked teams are, well, good. Number two, most teams would probably fall out of the Top 25 after losing two games in a row.

But recreating this situation in Bet Labs (at least as best we can), shows that it’s still happened quite a few times.

When a ranked team enters a game having lost two in a row — ideally we’d look for spots where the team was favored in both losses, but for this purpose we’re limited to just the most recent one — against an unranked opponent, that side has gone 125-57 since 2005.

So, Duke fans, it’s looking like things should turn around tonight. For bettors, however, it’s not that simple.

Given the hefty payouts that come from fading ranked teams on the moneyline, the flipped record of 57-125 has raked in quite a bit of cash over the years. In fact, it’s won 61.6 units ($6,164 if you’d bet $100 on every game) for an impressive 33.9% return on investment.

The spread, on the other hand, while still profitable, hasn’t held nearly the same edge. The unranked team has covered at a 54.1% rate, going 99-84-1 for a 5.2% ROI over the same span.

So yes, the narrative of a Duke bounce-back performance has a good chance of being correct tonight. That doesn’t mean there can’t be value in betting against it, though, and if history is any indication, the 14-1 payout on the Hurricanes might just be holding some.

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