NCAAB Betting Guide for Duke vs Virginia
Pictured: Virginia Cavaliers forward Jayden Gardner. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Duke vs Virginia Odds
-115o / -105u
-115o / -105u
Duke defeated arch-rival North Carolina, 63-57, last Saturday, but that momentum did not carry over against Miami on Monday. The Blue Devils never lead and lost, 81-59, to the Hurricanes.
However, they have still won three of their past four games. Duke will look to bounce back when it heads to Virginia to battle the Cavaliers.
Virginia also faced its rival last Saturday, losing 74-68 to Virginia Tech. However, it bounced back with a 63-50 victory over NC State on Tuesday. Virginia has been on a roll of late, winning eight of its past nine games. The Cavaliers are No. 14 in the AP Poll, 18-6 overall and in a three-way tie for first place in the ACC.
This matchup will pit the ACC’s two top defensive teams against each other. However, Duke has struggled on the road in conference play. Will that tilt things in Virginia’s favor?
For more than a decade, Duke has been predominantly led by freshmen. Kyle Filipowski has taken the mantle this season and is the only freshman in the country averaging 15 points and nine rebounds per game. He’s also stepped it up of late, averaging 18.6 points and 10.9 rebounds.
Center Dereck Lively II took a bit longer to acclimate to the college game while recovering from injury. However, he is averaging 6.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.2 blocks over the past six games. He matched his career high with 11 points at Miami.
Junior Jeremy Roach is averaging 12.5 points and three assists per game. He has scored 20 points in two of his past three games and knocked down some timely buckets against North Carolina.
Duke is 57th in adjusted offensive efficiency. It ranks outside the top 200 in both 2-point field goal and 3-point field goal percentage. However, its defense has carried the way this season.
Duke is 31st in adjusted defensive efficiency and ranks second in the ACC and 41st nationally in scoring defense. Duke leads the ACC in 3-point field goal percentage defense and is third in field goal percentage defense.
Lively set season highs with 14 rebounds and eight blocks against North Carolina. In doing so, he recorded the second most blocks by a Division 1 player this season. Lively is second in the ACC and 11th nationally with 2.4 blocks per game.
Defense has long been a staple of Tony Bennett’s teams. Virginia tops Duke in the ACC in scoring defense, allowing 60.4 points (10th nationally). Virginia has been known to lock in on big men by sending double teams at them when they are on the low block. That can lead to forced passes and turnovers and Filipowski could be the target in this matchup.
Virginia has been able to defend without fouling as it ranks 14th in fouls per game. It is 23th in adjusted defensive efficiency. However, Virginia has also been playing at a high level offensively.
The Cavaliers rank 25th in adjusted offensive efficiency and nearly have the profile of a typical national champion (top 20 on both ends). The Cavaliers are led by four double-digit scorers in Armaan Franklin, Jayden Gardner, Kihei Clark and Reece Beekman. Gardner has taken the reins of late, averaging 18.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in his past four games.
Virginia has two top-notch playmakers in Clark and Beekman, who are each averaging five assists or more per game. Virginia is 18th in assists per game and does not beat itself. It is committing just 9.1 turnovers (fourth fewest nationally) and is first in assist/turnover ratio.
The Cavaliers are also shooting 38% from 3 and rank 23rd nationally. Freshman Isaac McKneely and Beekman are both shooting above 43%, while Franklin and Clark are 39% 3-point shooters.
Duke vs Virginia Betting Pick
Duke has won nine of the past 14 games in this series. However, it is just 2-5 on the road in ACC play and has scored 70 points in just two of those seven games. That could spell trouble at Virginia, considering the Cavaliers have held 38 consecutive ACC opponents under 70 points at home.
Virginia has both the better offense and defense in this matchup. While Lively will a present a challenge at the rim, Virginia has the 3-point shooting to space Duke out and score if the paint is clogged.
I expect an inspired effort from Duke in the first half after getting blown out at Miami. However, Virginia will wear it down en route to a comfortable victory. I’ll lay the points with the Cavaliers.
Pick: Virginia -5.5
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