Duke vs. Virginia Betting Odds, Picks, Preview: Will the Run of Overs Continue?
Grant Halverson/Getty Images. Pictured: Vernon Carey Jr.
- Duke and Virginia are set for an enormous ACC showdown on Saturday in Charlottesville.
- Can you trust the unpredictable Blue Devils on the road against the notoriously stingy Virginia defense? Or will the game open up more than expected?
- Our experts offer their full betting analyses with picks below.
Duke at Virginia Odds
- Spread: Duke -3.5
- Over/Under: 124.5
- Time: 6 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
Duke is coming off a horrific defensive effort that ended in an overtime loss to Wake Forest. Does Virginia have the offense to take advantage?
Let’s breakdown this game that will be pivotal for ACC Tournament seeding.
How Odds Have Moved
Duke has gotten the majority of bets in this game (63%), but a more even money split has driven the line down from Blue Devils -4 to -3.5. — Steve Petrella
When Duke Has the Ball
The Blue Devils will look to rebound off a double overtime loss at Wake Forest. Duke shot just 26% from long range, but made up for it with a 91% free throw shooting effort. The Blue Devils should avoid fatigue with a deep rotation, ranking 53rd nationally in bench minutes. The slow pace of Virginia may be an advantage for Mike Krzyzewski’s roster.
Virginia plays the slowest tempo of any team in college basketball. Duke had no issues winning by double digits against Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech, two teams that are outside the top 300 in pace of play.
The Cavaliers boast the best defense in the conference in every category except steals with a national rank of 196th. While Duke enjoyed a great night at the free throw line against Wake Forest, Virginia is one of lowest rate teams in sending opponents to the free throw line.
Duke struggles with ball protection, but Virginia is not built to take advantage. Expect Duke to have positives in the transition game and execute at the hoop. Vernon Carey’s second chance points may be the deciding factor in this game. — Collin Wilson
When Virginia Has the Ball
The Cavaliers have often struggled to find points, but have now won eight of the last nine while shooting above season averages. This will be a clash of styles as Duke is the fastest tempo Virginia will have faced in conference play thus far.
Previous games against fast tempo teams resulted in 2-point Virginia victories against North Carolina and Wake Forest.
There are plenty of advantages for the Duke defense in the first meeting between these two teams. The Blue Devils are second in the ACC in adjusted defensive efficiency with specific advantages in steal rate and defending the perimeter.
The last three teams to beat Duke have shot at least 50% from beyond the arc, but Virginia ranks 311th in 3-point percentage. — Collin Wilson
Stuckey: Can’t Trust Duke on the Road
There are seeding implications for this one as the winner will take over the No. 3 seed in the ACC.
I’m not a huge fan of this Virginia team that I thought could be in jeopardy of missing the tournament after winning it all last year. However, the Hoos have strung together a number of wins and will get a chance to defend their crown in March. That said, four of their last five wins have come by three points or less, so they’ve been quite fortunate.
But can you trust Duke? Which Duke team will show up is the big question that is becoming tough to answer. But if I had to guess, I’d lean toward the one that struggles since this game is away from Cameron.
The Blue Devils have lost their past two road conference games against Wake Forest and NC State — and needed multiple miracles to pull out the one before that against UNC. That’s likely three teams that won’t make the tournament.
Duke has as much talent as anybody in the country and looks spectacular when it’s all working, but Coach K’s crew has just been so inconsistent.
Also, as most of you probably know by now, Virginia will slow opponents down and grind games to a halt, ranking 353rd out of 353 teams in Adjusted Tempo. On the other end of the spectrum, Duke wants to get out and run, ranking 32nd in that same category. — Stuckey
UVA Will Set the Pace
I tend to trust this Virginia team to slow it down at home, especially if Duke comes out slow on the road as it’s done all conference play. That could spell trouble for a Duke team that has struggled at times in the half court offense.
The Blue Devils are absolutely elite in transition but are vulnerable if you can slow them down, especially if Vernon Carey gets in foul trouble, which he seems to do a lot.
Virginia has some other advantages working in its favor. They can go super big and force Duke’s hand to potentially play Matthew Hurt more, who could really struggle on the defensive ends. Players in the mold of Diakite have given Duke problems this season.
For what it’s worth, Tony Bennett is 53-38-1 ATS (58.2%) as an underdog in the regular season while Coach K is only 7-13 ATS as a road favorite of 4 points or fewer in ACC play since 2005.
I personally make this line Duke -3.5, so don’t see much value, but would be tempted to back Virginia small at 4 or above for many of the reasons I mentioned above. — Stuckey
Randle: Why I Like the Total
Virginia has quietly turned into one of the best “over” teams in college basketball. On the season, the Cavaliers are just 13-14 to the over, but they are 4-2 in their last six games.
Duke has loudly been one of the top over teams, with an incredible 20-8 record to the over, a 71.4% rate. The Blue Devils have hit the over in 11 of their past 13 games this season.
Duke maintains the ability to score each season, and this year ranks second best in the country at 83.2 points per game only trailing Gonzaga. The Blue Devils easily hit the over in their two games against the Cavaliers last season, and should do so again here.
The Blue Devils rank first in the ACC in tempo and should eclipse the 65-point barrier, which they have done in each of the past seven regular-season games against Tony Bennett’s team. I taking the over here and would do so up to 125.5. — Mike Randle
Randle’s Pick: Over 124.5