Boston College vs No. 21 Duke

Boston College vs No. 21 Duke | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on January 5, 2021

Duke hasn’t played in three weeks due to the program shutting down for COVID reasons. The No. 21 Blue Devils are set to return to the court Wednesday in hosting ACC foe Boston College, but Coach Mike Krzyzewski will not be in attendance. Duke will still be a solid favorite on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet Boston College at Duke NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info
  • When: Wednesday, 8:30 PM ET
  • Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium
  • TV: ACC Network
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: TBA (Duke will be favored)
Last Meeting

The schools played twice last season and Duke won both. The one at Cameron was an 88-49 blowout. Matthew Hurt (still at Duke) scored 20 of his 25 points before halftime. Hurt made 10 of 16 shots and was 5 of 10 on 3-pointers to lead the Blue Devils, who shot nearly 52% and hit their last five shots of the first half as they blew the game open shortly before the break. BC shot just 34% and made 3 of 18 3-pointers, including a six-minute stretch in the first half without a basket that helped Duke stretch out its lead.

Why Bet on Boston College? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Eagles (2-7) come off a 76-64 home loss to Louisville on Saturday. Jay Heath tallied a career-high 20 points in the loss. Heath finished with four 3-pointers on 5-of-10 shooting from the floor. Wynston Tabbs added 15 points and Ashton-Langford 12 for the Eagles.

The Eagles jumped out to a 10-3 lead just over three minutes into the game, but went cold midway through the period.  Louisville’s 16-2 run – including 10 unanswered points – gave it a 22-15 advantage with 7:40 remaining in the opening frame.  BC trailed 37-24 at the break.

The lead reached 17 points in the first minute of the second half before the Eagles got within seven on Heath’s 3-pointer with 9:15 to go.  The Cardinals rebuilt a 15-lead with just under two minutes left. Makai Ashton-Langford scored five straight points and Heath added two in a last-gasp BC rally to close within eight but the Cardinals kept the Eagles at bay from the line.

Heath has now made seven of his last 10 and 12 of his last 17 3-point attempts. Ashton-Langford missed eight minutes in the first half due to injury before returning late in the opening frame. Steffon Mitchell added nine points, six boards, and two steals.

The Eagles shot 33.3% (17-51) from the floor, including 8-of-33 from beyond the arc.  They were 22-of-28 from the foul line. The Eagles outscored Louisville, 40-39, in the second half, and their ability to draw contact and get to the free-throw line was a major reason why. BC had 22 free-throw attempts to Louisville’s four at one point, and the final margin in attempts was only relatively close because the Cardinals got some additional chances late in the game.

“It was a good effort put forth with only one day to prepare,” said BC coach Jim Christian. “It was scrappy, we fought and really adjusted well defensively but shooting the ball, it was one of those days. We were making great plays, making the extra pass and the ball was not going in. It’s disheartening the effort didn’t get rewarded but I’m encouraged with the effort.”

Why Bet on Duke? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski says he won’t be able to coach the Blue Devils in this game but he hopes to be out of quarantine in time to return for their game against Wake Forest on Saturday. Krzyzewski said he and his wife were placed into quarantine last Friday after a member of his family tested positive for COVID-19. He said he and his wife were both tested Monday, and both were negative. Krzyzewski is in his 41st season as Duke’s head coach, and his record is now 1,087-293 at Duke, and 1,160-352 overall in this, his 46th season overall.

The Blue Devils (3-2) haven’t played since a 75-65 win at Notre Dame on Dec. 16. Sophomore Matthew Hurt scored 18 points and three Duke freshmen also cracked double digits. DJ Steward had 16 points to go with seven rebounds, while Jeremy Roach scored 14 and Jaemyn Brakefield added 10 for Duke, which led from the second minute onward. The Blue Devils entered the game in jeopardy of falling below .500 for the first time since 1999.

Duke shot 52 percent and went 8 of 15 on 3-pointers. The Blue Devils also outrebounded Notre Dame 33-23 and outscored the Irish 34-20 in the paint. They played without star freshman due to a foot injury and he’s not expected back Wednesday.  Johnson, a 6-foot-9 forward, is the team’s most talented player and top NBA draft prospect. He is averaging 11.5 points and 8.3 rebounds through four games.

Duke is now 33-5 following its last 38 losses. The Blue Devils have now connected on at least one three-pointer in 1,095 consecutive games, which is the second-longest active streak in the nation.

While Duke’s struggles have been a big talking point this season, it has been a bigger story that it has hardly been able to take the floor this season. The start and stop nature of this year, with so many games postponed or canceled, has taken its toll on Duke. The biggest challenge for the Blue Devils as they return to action will be finding their rhythm on offense. We are now in early January, and Duke still doesn’t have a true identity and set rotation.

“It hurts every time. … Really just snatching that rug from underneath us,” sophomore guard Wendell Moore said. It stings every time. It really never gets any easier – all we can do is just move forward and look forward to the games that we will have.”

Expert College Basketball Prediction

Duke 78, Boston College 68


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