Duke Blue Devils vs Pittsburgh Panthers: Predictions, Odds and How to Watch

How to Watch

Where: Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

When: Tuesday, January 22nd, 9:00 PM EST

How (TV): ESPN

Duke (Away)

Head Coach: Mike Krzyzewski {Overall: 15-2 .882 W/L% | Conference: 4-1, 1st ACC}

After an overtime loss to Syracuse the Blue Devils rebounded with a 72-70 win over fourth ranked Virginia in a nail-biter to give the Cavaliers their first loss of the season.

The win helped Duke avoid back-to-back losses at home, which hasn’t occurred for the Blue Devils since 2016. Led by RJ Barrett (30 points) and Zion Williamson (27 points) in scoring, it was the Blue Devil defence that won them the match. In a nine-minute stretch, the Cavaliers were unable to post a field-goal against Duke. Only scoring with a three point field-goal with 23 seconds to go.

Pittsburgh has an efficient defence, headed by guard Trey McGowens and forward Terrell Brown. The Duke offence has sputtered at times due to isolationist nature of Barrett, but if they can make smart plays open Pitt or beat them in transition it could be a quick night.

Pittsburgh (Home)

Head Coach: Jeff Capel {Overall: 12-6 .667 W/L% | Conference: 2-3, 8th ACC}

Pittsburgh maintains something in common with Duke coming into their match against the Blue Devils, both teams have lost to Syracuse. Unfortunately for the Panthers, the Blue Devils were able to remedy their mistakes in a win over Virginia while Pitt will be attempting to right their course against the first place team in the ACC.

In their loss to the Orange, Pittsburgh failed to score efficiently or stop the wing scoring of the Syracuse guards. Pitt allowed Syracuse to shoot 46% from inside the arc while allowing the Orange to convert on 46% of their three-point field goal attempts.

The Blue Devils are not a team that relies heavily on outside shooting. They’ve struggled against disciplined zone defences as only G Cam Reddish boasts a respectable three-point field-goal percentage (.348). If Pitt can pack the paint and not let Duke get out in transition, they may be able to stave off their talented opponents.

Duke Roster Notes

G Tre Jones – is listed as Questionable for the match against Pittsburgh due to a shoulder injury.

Pittsburgh Roster Notes

C Peace Ilegomah – is ineligible due to his intent to transfer.

Head-to-Head: RJ Barrett vs Xavier Johnson

RJ Barrett

Guard/Forward | 6-7, 202lb (201cm, 91kg) | Montverde Academy | Missisauga, ON, Canada | Freshman

23.8 PPG | 4.1 APG | 6.8 RPG | 0.9 SPG | 0.5 BPG | 2.5 TOV | .455 FG% | .309 3P%

Xavier Johnson

Guard | 6-3, 190lb (190cm, 86kg) | Bishop O’Connell HS | Woodbridge, VA | Freshman

17.1 PPG | 4.6 APG | 3.5 RPG | 1.1 SPG | 0.1 BPG | 4.0 TOV | .463 FG% | .403 3P%

In this ACC matchup we will get to see two high-scoring, ball-dominant guards go head to head. The lightning quick Xavier Johnson and the silky smooth RJ Barrett face off in a bid to secure their place going into March Madness.

The young Canadian RJ Barrett has a skill set that is incredibly valuable for NCAA and even NBA teams. He’s a big, athletic guard with the ability to make plays like a point guard and take advantage of matchups like a forward. While his shooting has left something to be desired, his intelligence on the court tends to open up clear attacking situations for himself and others.

Xavier Johnson has pro-level quickness and it is apparent already in his young career. He can score against any matchup and his speed alone allows him to attack the rim despite disciplined zone defences. Johnson is also a marksman and has punished teams for backing off to defend his drive. His decision making can be improved, seeing as he holds a 1:1 assist to turnover rate, but in terms of pure scoring ability he will be a load for the Blue Devils.

Duke at Pittsburgh Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have Duke favoured over Pittsburgh by 12, with an over/under of 110.