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March Madness Sweet 16: #11 Syracuse Orange at #2 Duke Blue Devils

Can the Orange Stymie the Blue Devils Tonight?

The second Midwest Region game for today has the #11 Syracuse Orange (23-13) at the #2 Duke Blue Devils (28-7). Both are ACC teams. The Orange have defied all odds by staying alive in this tourney, but they will be greatly challenged tonight. Their game tips off at 9:37 p.m. E.T. at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, NE. This is the third game for Friday, Mar. 23 and the seventh of eight Sweet !6 games. Our Syracuse plays Duke 2018 Sweet 16 free pick offers the Blue Devils at -11.0. The Over/under comes in at between 132.0 and 133.0. Our last pick is upcoming.

Remember that tomorrow’s and Sunday’s Elite Eight games start at 6:09 p.m. E.T. It has been a NCAA Tournament filled with surprises. Let’s see if there will be one in this game tonight.

Recent History

The Orange of Syracuse finished 10th in the ACC with an 8-10 record and nine games out of first. In the tournament, they lost to UNC 78-59. The Orange played one of the first four games, beating the #11 Arizona Sun Devils 60-56. In the first round, they beat the #6 TCU Horned Frogs 57-52. In round two, they took on the #3 Michigan State Spartans 55-53.

In the ACC, this season, the Blue Devils finished second to Virginia, four games out of first place. In the conference tourney, Duke lost in the second round to UNC 74-69. They met the #15 Iona Gaels in the first round of the Big Dance, beating them 80-67. In the most recent round, the Devils took down the #7 URI Rams 87-62.

Basic Stats and Facts

The Orange have done well defensively, and that fact has kept them in the tournament. They’ve allowed opponents just 53.7 PPG. The Blue Devils have given up on average 64.5 PPG. However, Duke can score. They’re putting up 84.9 PPG. Syracuse has been good for just 66.7 PPG. The Devils are hitting 50% from the floor, while the Orange are good for just 42 PPG. Duke is also better in threes, 38% to 32%, while Syracuse is better on free throws, 74% to 71%. Duke is a big plus-seven on assists and plus-four on rebounds.

Players to Watch

For Syracuse, three players are key in this game, and all three are double-digit scorers. Two guards, Tyus Battle and Frank Howard, are top players. Battle leads all scorers with 19.3 PPG, while Howard tops the team in assists (4.7 APG) and is third in scoring (14.6 PPG). Forward Oshae Brissett leads in rebound with 8.9 per game and is second in points with 14.9 per game.

Duke comes to this game with five players who are scoring on average 10 PPG or better. Freshman forward Marvin Bagley III tops the team in points per game with 21.2 and rebounds per game with 11.3. He’s a pure double-double threat. Another freshman forward, Wendell Carter Jr., is averaging 13.6 PPG and 9.2 RPG. Senior guard Grayson Allen is the glue of this team. He’s good for 4.6 APG and 15.6 PPG.

Our Syracuse Plays Duke 2018 Sweet 16 Free Pick

This is a big spread. But the fact is Duke comes to this game with an top offense. Syracuse will have their hands full with the Blue Devils. Our Syracuse plays Duke 2018 Sweet 16 free pick is the Blue Devils at -11.0 and over 132.0.

Orange and Blue Devils Pick Summary: Duke at -11.0 and over 132.0


Paul has been writing about sports betting and sports for more than a decade, offering picks on the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, as well as on college sports and European football. He's written thousands of season and post-season previews, innumerable articles on sports betting strategies, and various books on sports and sports betting.

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