Duke vs NC State Basketball Prediction & Picks: Will the Blue Devils fall on the road again?
Trips to Raleigh have not been kind to Duke basketball over the years, and NC State will hope to be rude hosts once again tonight as the #16 Blue Devils (11-3, 2-1 ACC) visit the Wolfpack (11-4, 1-3 ACC) at PNC Arena.
It has not been an ideal start to conference play for NC State, whose only conference win thus far is against Louisville, who is in the midst of a horrid year under Kenny Payne.
A win tonight would help their quest for an NCAA Tournament berth get back on track, and it would be the Blue Devils’ second straight road loss, following last week’s loss at Wake Forest.
Duke bounced back with a 19-point win over struggling Florida State on Saturday, but they will be in for more of a challenge tonight against the Wolfpack. Will they be able to navigate it successfully, or will they stumble away from home again?
Read on for our Duke vs NC State prediction, as well as our betting picks and analysis for the matchup between the Blue Devils and Wolfpack.
Duke vs NC State Odds
Odds are via FanDuel as of Wednesday, January 4, 2023, at 12:30 pm ET. This article may also include odds from our other recommended legal sports betting sites.
- Duke -4.5 (-115)
- NC State +4.5 (-105)
- Over 144.5 (-110)
- Under 144.5 (-110)
- Duke -205
- NC State +168
Will NC State Be Able to Overwhelm Duke Offensively?
In their most recent visit to Raleigh, the Blue Devils beat the Wolfpack 69-53 in February 2021. But prior to that win, they had dropped five of their previous seven at NC State, and in each of the five losses, they had given up at least 84 points.
If they do that tonight, they might be toast, as consistency and team-wide production on offense remains a major issue for Duke.
Fantastic freshman Kyle Filipowski can’t be expected to be dominant game in, game out, and Jeremy Roach’s ups and downs continue. Statistically, the Blue Devils are one of the poorer offensive teams in the ACC.
Offensive Statistics for Duke
- PPG: 73.9 (9th in the ACC)
- FG%: 44.4 (11th in the ACC)
- 3PT%: 32.6 (11th in the ACC)
In last week’s loss in Winston-Salem, the Blue Devils were 8 of 29 from (27.6%) from three and shot 44.1% (26 of 59) from the field overall, compared to 36.8% (7 of 19) from three and 49.1% (26 of 53) overall for the Demon Deacons.
But there were positive performances by guard Jaylen Blakes and big man Ryan Young in the loss, and that carried over to Saturday’s win over the Seminoles.
In their win, the Blue Devils scored 86 points, their second-highest total of the season behind the 92 points they scored against Delaware on November 18.
Blakes, who drew his first career start, made 4 of 6 from three and 6 of 11 overall on the way to his second straight 17-point performance, while Young had 20 points and 12 rebounds in 24 minutes.
Duke also benefitted from the return of freshman Dariq Whitehead, who returned with 16 points after missing the Wake Forest game.
Still, there’s reason to be concerned how they will keep up with an NC State squad that is averaging 79.5 points per game.
Leading Scorers for NC State
- Terquavion Smith: 18.1 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 5.3 APG
- Jarkel Joiner: 15.7 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.4 APG
- Casey Morsell: 13.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG
Morsell is 11th in the country in three-point percentage (47.7%), while Smith is one of the most frequent firers in the game–8.7 three-point attempts per game, which is 8th in the country–and shoots at a 34.4% clip.
That is one area of strength for Duke, as their opponents are shooting just 27.8% from three for the season, with eight opponents shooting under 30% from outside.
Duke vs NC State Prediction and Picks
Duke vs NC State Prediction: NC State to win
Duke vs NC State Picks: NC State +5 (Best Value: Caesars Sportsbook & BetRivers) & NC State team total over 69.5 (Best Value: Caesars Sportsbook)
I don’t view NC State as one of the better teams in the ACC or as a likely NCAA Tournament team.
But I do think that they will pull the upset that’s not really an upset tonight at home.
Saturday’s win over Florida State was a nice performance and result for the Blue Devils, especially considering that they scored 86 points with Filipowski (six points) and Roach (nine points) contributing just 17.4% of their points.
But there are still too many questions to really feel confident that they will come away from PNC Arena unscathed on a hot night for the Wolfpack. NC State has hit 10+ threes in seven games this season, and I’m looking for tonight to be the eighth.