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Fallen Blue Bloods: Syracuse vs. Duke Predictions

The Orange will host the Blue Devils at 6 pm on Saturday, a game with March implications televised on ESPN. While the two teams have identical 9-6 conference records, ESPN Analytics gives the Blue Devils a 55.3 percent chance of winning as of earlier this week. That’s in part because not all wins are created equal.

Syracuse is listed at No. 95 in the NET rankings and No. 88 in KenPom. They’re 0-5 in Quad 1 games and just 2-3 in Quad 2 games, so they’ll need a late-season miracle (and a deep run into the ACC Tournament) to make it to March Madness.

While still not great, Duke has done a better job in big games, holding 3-7 and 4-1 records in Quad 1 and Quad 2 games, respectively.

Inside the Matchup: Storylines to Watch

The Blue Devils haven’t fared well away from Durham, managing a pitiful 2-6 margin on the road in conference matchups. 

We’ll have to wait before the betting lines are released for Saturday’s game: it’s hard to feel confident about predicting an outright winner but as underdogs, the Orange could be a great play to beat the spread.

Unfortunately for fans in New York, betting involving college teams from the Empire State isn’t allowed, due to their protected status as amateurs, so they won’t have a chance to take advantage of any potential upset brewing at the Carrier Dome. 

That doesn’t preclude Syracuse fans from betting on teams outside the state. The Houston Cougars currently have the best odds of winning the 2023 Men’s NCAA Tournament, listed at or around +700, you can bet using the best NY betting promos.

In the ACC, the Virginia Cavaliers have the best odds of winning the league this season, listed around -190. For the Orange, Joe Girard leads the Orange with 16.9 points per game. Jesse Edwards paces them in boards with 10.4 rebounds per game, while true freshman Judah Mintz leads with 4.7 assists.

Blue Bloods That Have Seen Better Days

The Orange have been embroiled in controversy as of late, with hall of famer Jim Boeheim at the center of it. In a conversation with ESPN analyst Pete Thamel, Boeheim accused ACC foes like Pitt, Miami, and Wake Forest of “buying”’” their teams, luring recruits and transfers in using NIL deals. Boeheim later retracted his statement, absolving the Panthers and Demon Deacons (while doubling down on his claims about the Hurricanes) but the accusations brought bad press to the Orange, especially because Boeheim himself had 101 wins vacated by the NCAA for failing to comply with the league’s rules over the course of a decade.

It’s one thing to drag other teams when you’re able to back it up on the court. Quite another when you aren’t likely to make the tournament.

The Blue Devils haven’t done much better in their first season in 42 years without the leadership of legendary head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Duke opted to go young, bringing in 35-year-old head coach Jon Scheyer, a two-time second-team All-American guard who helped the Blue Devils win the tournament in 2010 as a player and again in 2015 as an assistant. Scheyer’s debut season has gotten off to a rocky start, however.

As of Tuesday, Mike DeCourcy of Fox Sports predicted that the Blue Devils will make the tournament as an eighth seed, their reputation as blue blood earning them a spot in the NCAA Tournament, even when the results on the court don’t match up.

The Orange, on the other hand, wasn’t included as a team in the hunt. 

What Have You Done for Me Recently?

The Blue Devils snapped a two-game skid on Tuesday, winning 68-64 at home against Notre Dame, whose 2-13 conference record leads only the pitiful Louisville Cardinals. 


The Orange are on a three-game winning streak capped by their best victory of the season, a thrilling 75-72 upset over No. 23 NC State at the Carrier Dome.

With the score tied and just under two minutes to go, Edwards completed a three-point play with just under two minutes to go, making a layup despite being fouled and converting his free throw attempt to give Syracuse a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Whether the recent hot streak will help power the Orange to a big-name victory on Saturday in what has been a disappointing season remains to be seen.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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