Duke vs Ohio State Picks and Predictions: Blue Devils Won't Let You Down

Don't bank on a Duke letdown game against Ohio State after topping Gonzaga. The Blue Devils are playing balanced basketball and are favored by a slim margin despite their strong start. See more in our free college basketball picks for Tuesday.

Last Updated: Nov 30, 2021 11:35 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Paolo Banchero Duke College Basketball
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The ACC/Big Ten Challenge is underway and the Ohio State Buckeyes host the No. 1-ranked Duke Blue Devils on Tuesday night.

In legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final campaign with the Blue Devils, he will look for his first win in Columbus after his team fell short in its only trip there almost exactly 10 years ago. Oddsmakers expect him to get that victory with college basketball betting lines opening with Duke as a 3.5-point road favorite before shortening to -2.

Here are our best free college basketball picks and predictions for Duke vs. Ohio State on Tuesday, November 30 with tipoff at 9:30 p.m. ET. 

Duke vs Ohio State odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

The Blue Devils opened as 3.5-point favorites with the Over/Under set at 148.5. Early money has come in on Ohio State and the Under, shortening the line to Duke -2 and shifting the total to 147. Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.

Duke vs Ohio State predictions

Predictions made on 11/30/2021 at 10:30 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Duke vs Ohio State game info

Location: Value City Arena, Columbus, OH
Date: Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Tip-off: 9:30 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN

Duke at Ohio State betting preview

Injuries

Duke: Michael Savarino G (Questionable).
Ohio State: Justice Sueing F (Out), Eugene Brown G III (Out), Seth Towns F (Out).

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Over is 8-1 in the Buckeyes' last nine games as an underdog. Find more NCAA betting trends for Duke vs. Ohio State.

Duke vs Ohio State picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

The Blue Devils are coming off a rare season where they missed out on March Madness, but expectations are much higher in Krzyzewski's swan song with the program. So far, they've lived up to the hype. They defeated Kentucky 79-71 in their season opener, then reeled off five straight wins against overmatched opponents before being given their biggest test of the year: a matchup with then-No.1 Gonzaga in Las Vegas on Friday. They passed with flying colors, defeating the Zags 84-81 to take away their No. 1 ranking. 

Duke has one of the country's top freshmen classes led by Paolo Banchero, who has the best odds of taking home the Wooden Award. That young talent has seamlessly blended with more experienced returning players such as Wendell Moore, Jeremy Roach, Mark Williams, and Joey Baker.

Ohio State has had a bumpier ride. The Buckeyes hung on to beat Akron by a single point in their season opener before picking up double-digit wins over Niagara and Bowling Green. Then they faced a step up in competition and have lost two of their last three, sandwiching a close victory versus Seton Hall between a pair of close defeats against Xavier and Florida. 

Ohio State is led by a strong group of upperclassmen including junior forward E.J. Liddell, who is averaging 22.5 points per game on 56 percent shooting after being named first-team All-Big Ten last season. Although the Buckeyes rank ninth in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency, they have shown flaws with everyone besides Liddell struggling to hit their shots against Akron and Xavier, while succumbing to Florida's backcourt pressure with 18 turnovers.

That last part could prove especially problematic against a Duke team that forced an elite Gonzaga offense into 17 turnovers. The Blue Devils are usually an offensive powerhouse, but this year's edition is playing with fire on both ends of the floor with Duke ranking 19th in adjusted defensive efficiency and 21st in steals per game. 

The Blue Devils also commit the second-fewest fouls per possession in the nation while the Buckeyes rank 234th in that category. That should mean more trips to the charity stripe for a Duke squad that connects on 74.6 percent of its free-throw attempts. In what should be a close game, the team that plays with better discipline and defense should come out on top. 

Prediction: Duke -2 (-110)

There are strong Over trends in play for both programs with the Over going 5-0 in Ohio State's last five games and the Blue Devils going 4-1 O/U in their previous five on the road.

The Blue Devils average 85.6 points per game on 48.7 percent shooting and rank seventh in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency. Banchero leads the team with 18.3 ppg but Moore isn't far behind with 17.9 ppg while freshman guard Trevor Keels is adding 12.3 ppg. This will be a very tough team to stop with how athletic and skilled they are on the offensive end of the floor.

That said, the Buckeyes are more than capable of dropping buckets. Neither side is reliant on three-pointers, either, and while that means they are less likely to put up the occasional crazy score, it does make their offensive output more consistent on a game-to-game basis. 

Prediction: Over 147 (-110)

This looks like a letdown spot for the Blue Devils. After all, they are coming off a hard-fought win against Gonzaga and are heading to a hostile environment to take on a Buckeyes squad smarting after a last-second loss.

But, this Blue Devils lineup is too well-balanced and talented to overlook at a line this short against a team that has shown some discernible cracks. Expect Krzyzewski to prepare them for this tough road contest and hand the Buckeyes their eighth against-the-spread loss in their last nine games in Columbus.  

Pick: Duke -2 (-110)

College basketball parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed our Duke vs. Ohio State picks, you could win $26.45 on a $10 bet?

Use our college basketball parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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