Duke-Virginia Tech Preview: Skidding Hokies Vulnerable against Blue Devils

After a weekend chock-full of NFL postseason football, we’re looking forward to diving back into some college hoops tonight. We’ll head to the Atlantic Coast Conference with the Duke Blue Devils going on the road to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies in conference play. 

Duke @ Virginia Tech Game Information

  • Location: Cassell Collesium | Blacksburg, VA
  • Time: 7:00 p.m. ET | TV: ESPN

Duke has had an underwhelming first season without Coach K at the helm. Jon Scheyer’s squad sits at 14-5 and 5-3 in conference play, sitting eighth in the ACC. Freshman center Kyle Filipowski has carried the load for Duke thus far, averaging 15 points per contest with nearly double-digit rebounds

Duke boasted the country’s number one recruiting class in 2022, enrolling three top recruits, according to 247Sports. Dereck Lively has been a disappointment, with the 7’1” center only averaging 16 minutes per game, eliminating plans of having a towering tandem with him and Filipowski.

Forward Dariq Whitehead has battled injuries, and he’s struggled to mesh with the rest of the team. His minutes per game have been up as Scheyer looks to get his five-star recruit more involved; however, his play remains very up-and-down from game to game.

Virginia Tech is spiraling. After an 11-1 start to their season, the Hokies have dropped seven straight games, falling to 12th in the ACC. Their two most recent losses come against ranked opponents, so this battle-tested group welcomes the chance to get a vulnerable Duke team in their building.

Sophomore guard Sean Pedulla leads the team in scoring but has only combined for 27 points over the past three. The Hokies have a strong paint presence to combat Filipowski with forwards Justyn Mutts and Grant Basile, who have spelled difficulties for opposing centers this season.

Duke @ Virginia Tech Game Odds on FanDuel

  • Spread: Duke +2.5 (-105) | Virginia Tech -2.5 (-115)
  • Moneyline: Duke (+126) | Virginia Tech (-152)
  • Total: Over 137.5 (-110) | Under 137.5 (-110)

This game is challenging to read as we’re forced to decide between Virginia Tech’s poor recent play and success on their home floor (8-2). The arena and players will be amped up with Duke in town, but will it be enough? With their losing streak staring us right in the face, we think not.

Duke comes in much more proven despite their underwhelming season, more consistent, and with the edge in talent. While we wouldn’t mind taking a shot on Va. Tech to end their skid after an encouraging effort in their most recent game, we don’t think that shot is warranted as a favorite. We’ll ride with the underdog Blue Devils and take the points in a close contest.