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Pick on the spread for Duke-Virginia Tech on January 23

VSiN’s Greg Peterson goes over the best betting options for Monday’s college basketball matchup between the Duke Blue Devils and Virginia Tech Hokies

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NCAA Basketball: Pittsburgh at Duke Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Year one for the Duke Blue Devils with John Scheyer coaching the team has seen its ups and downs. However, the Blue Devils travel to Blacksburg to face Virginia Tech on Monday having won four of their last six games.

Duke Blue Devils vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (-2.5, 138)

The Hokies are toward the bottom of the conference standings, riding a seven-game losing streak in which every loss has come by 10 points or fewer.

For Duke, defense has been the team’s calling card as they are 2-5 when allowing their opponent to score 69 points or more and 12-0 when allowing fewer than 69 points.

Overall Duke ranks 49th in the country in points allowed per possession and are playing at a significantly slower pace than in past seasons, ranking 286th in possessions per game after being 190th or higher in total possessions per game each of the past six seasons.

The Hokies are also comfortable operating at a slow pace, ranking 252nd in possessions per game with relative balance, ranking 72nd in the nation in points scored on a per-possession basis and 81st in points allowed on a per-possession basis.

What Duke will ultimately accomplish this season hinges upon the development of freshmen Derrick Lively and Dariq Whitehead, who were consensus top 10 recruits with Kyle Filpowski, who’s leading the team with 15 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.

Lively is averaging just four points and 3.7 rebounds per game but was one of the main reasons Duke defeated Miami, 68-66, over the weekend as he recorded six points and career-highs with 10 rebounds and five blocks.

Whitehead had 10 points on 2-of-3 shooting from 3-point range in the win over Miami and enters having scored at least 10 points in five of the past seven games he has appeared in after being held to eight points or fewer in his first eight appearances of the season.

The Blue Devils are 4-1 when Whitehead scores at least 10 points and with Duke’s freshmen ascending, they will prolong Virginia Tech’s losing streak.

The Play: Duke +2.5

Get Peterson’s spread and total lines for every game on the college basketball board.

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