Home » Blog » Blue Devils Look to Return to Winning Ways

Blue Devils Look to Return to Winning Ways

After re-aggravating an ankle injury in Saturday's loss to NC State, Seth Curry will return to the court on Thursday night looking to lead the Duke Blue Devils to a win.

Following Saturday’s 84-76 loss to North Carolina State, No. 3 Duke will look to steady the ship and return to winning ways on Thursday night as the Blue Devils host the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Tipoff is scheduled for 9:00 PM ET from Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C.

With that loss in Raleigh, N.C., Duke (15-1, 2-1 ACC) slipped from a No. 1 ranking with the Associated Press to a No. 3 ranking on Monday, behind Louisville and Indiana. Despite this, plenty – including bookmakers – still like the Blue Devil’s chances come March.

If Mike Krzyzewski’s side is to realize its potential though, it will need to do so without forward Ryan Kelly.

Kelly (13.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG) injured his foot in a 68-40 thrashing of Clemson on Jan. 8, and his return is still unknown. Without Kelly, the Blue Devils came unstuck against a North Carolina State side that many fancy to advance deep into March’s tournament.

Fears that the side might also be without Seth Curry (16.4 PPG) – second on the team in scoring – after he reinjured his ankle on Saturday appear to have been put to one side, with news that he will take the court in Thursday night’s game.

Still, the likes of Curry and leading-scorer Mason Plumlee (17.5 PPG, 11.4 RPG) will need assistance from the rest of the starting lineup, particularly as Duke doesn’t have the deepest bench.

Up to this point, scoring hasn’t been a problem for the Blue Devils. The side averages 79.1 points per game (15th in the nation) on .478 shooting (24th). But there’s still a question mark as to whether the team can continue scoring at that rate without Kelly, an excellent spread forward.

On Thursday night, Duke will be up against a Georgia Tech (10-5, 0-3 ACC) side that has limited opponents to just 57.1 points per game (20th) and .371 shooting (12th).  Those numbers are somewhat crooked however, having been generated early in the season.

Since conference play started, Georgia Tech has allowed an average of 71.7 points per game, whilst only scoring 61.3 points per game. Those numbers have translated into losses to Miami (FL), North Carolina State, and Virginia Tech. At 0-3, the Yellow Jackets are looking for their first conference win of the season.

Duke is the overwhelming favorite heading into this one. The Blue Devils have won four straight against the Yellow Jackets, and five straight at home. Georgia Tech’s last win at Duke came on Mar. 3, 2004, the side’s only victory in the last 13 played at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The spread opened at 17 points, the exact difference between what the Blue Devils score (79.1 PPG) and allow (61.8 PPG).

Duke (9-7-0 ATS) has not consistently covered the spread enough to make this a done deal, and at 17, there’s a very good chance that Georgia Tech (6-7-0 ATS) can cover, particularly as the side ranks in the nation’s top 20 at limiting points. The Yellow Jackets are also very good at looking after the ball, ranking seventh in the country in steals allowed. Ball security could make a huge difference when it comes to covering the spread, and the total.

The total opened at 128.5. The total has gone over in just six of the 14 games Duke has played with an over/under line. Georgia Tech has seen only two of five applicable games go over.

That being said, the last three meetings, and four of the last five, have exceeded 128.5 points. That includes last season’s high-scoring 81-74 affair in Atlanta, Ga. The two sides historically combine for 145.7 points also, making the over an attractive prospect.

Duke is currently favorites to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, with odds of 11/2. Georgia Tech is a (very) longshot at 250/1.

Duke’s next game will be at Miami (FL) on Wednesday (7 PM ET).

Georgia Tech will travel to North Carolina to face the Tar Heels on Wednesday (9 PM ET).

  • 100%