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Jimmy Boyd of Boyd's Bets


March 23
College Basketball
Syracuse / Duke UNDER 133.5

Free Sports Picks by handicapper Jimmy Boyd

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I'm recommending a play on the UNDER in Friday's Sweet 16 action between Duke and Syracuse. Duke have put on an offensive clinic in their first two games of the Tournament, as they put up 89 on Iona and 87 on Rhode Island. Both games combined for at least 149 points.

What will get overlooked by a lot of the public is just how great the Blue Devils were defensively. Duke held Iona to 67 points and Rhode Island to 62. Those are two really good offensive teams that like to push the pace. They also don't have the size to make things difficult on the Duke defensive, which is why I think we are going to see a much lower output from the Blue Devils against the Orange.

Syracuse know that they don't have the offensive firepower to win games in a shootout, which is why they have been playing at a snail's pace in the tournament. They want to limit the number of possessions and try and get their opponent out of sync. It worked to perfection in their last game, as they beat Michigan State 55-53. The game before that they held TCU to 52 and Arizona St to 56.

Let's also not overlook the earlier meeting in conference play. Duke really had to grind out a 60-44 win (Orange hung around for most of the game). That game had a combined 104 points, which is basically 30-points below the total here. I could see a little more offense, but not by much as these are two of the best defensive teams in the country. Take the UNDER!

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