College Basketball Odds & Picks for Virginia Tech vs. Duke: Betting Preview for ACC Title Game
Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Keve Aluma (22), Hunter Cattoor (0) and Storm Murphy (5).
Virginia Tech vs. Duke Odds
|Virginia Tech Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
I couldn’t think of a more justified scenario for the ACC Championship than a No. 7 seed I touted all season meeting up with the No. 1 team in the conference. That’s how wild the conference has been all year.
Sure, it comes at the expense of my Tar Heels, but nonetheless, we have a conference futures piece in Virginia Tech in the finals right now.
It wasn’t easy getting it to this point, as VT had to hit a buzzer-beater in overtime against Clemson and survive a collapse against Notre Dame before dismantling UNC in the semis.
It wasn’t easy for Duke, either, as the Blue Devils defense has utterly collapsed coming into the tournament, barely squeaking by Miami and a hobbled Syracuse team to get to the finals.
I can’t make sense of Duke, and Tech is finally exceeding my expectations. Can we finally capitalize on the Hokies’ potential? Or will Duke remind us why it’s in a class of their own in the ACC?
Let’s find out.
If it wasn’t at the expense of my Tar Heels, I would feel a lot more proud touting the Hokies all season to make this run and profit for us in the finals. But profit is profit, and I’m happy they’re finally pulling it together.
The Hokies built an identity for a tournament run, and more importantly, an identity to beat Duke. Not only have they made a tournament run, but they also now face Duke in the ACC finals in what will be a battle of two totally different styles.
Virginia Tech comes into this matchup as one of the best perimeters shooting and perimeter defending teams in the conference. It prides itself on passing the ball until it finds the best possible look to bury opponents with a high 3-point shooting percentage.
This has been a major weakness for Duke late in the season and has seemed to continue into the conference tournament. Its perimeter defense has been lackadaisical, a style of play that is a must-fix against the hot-shooting Hokies.
If VA Tech wants to win the championship and cement its ticket to the Big Dance, the shooting will need to be on because it will be given nothing down low.
Keve Aluma may get his here and there, but the Hokies will sacrifice size to put out more damage from deep in order to keep pace with Duke’s scoring.
What once seemed like an unstoppable force having its way with the conference has now been crumbled as a vulnerable top seed. Is Duke coasting into March Madness? It’s tough to say, but this is not the Blue Devils team we were accustomed to watching before their season finale against North Carolina.
While the offense has still been dominant as ever, it’s the defense that’s alarmingly falling off of a cliff. While that unit hasn’t been ideal down the stretch in regular-season play, it has somehow managed to perform even worse in the conference tournament.
Duke has had to participate in plenty of high-scoring affairs in ACC play, conceding 70-plus points in four of its past five games.
The Blue Devils started with a scare against Syracuse without star player Buddy Boeheim and then went through a back-and-forth battle with Miami — two teams that Duke should have rolled against.
If Duke wants to avoid the upset, it will need to lock down the perimeter and attack the paint. Virginia Tech gives up size to most competition with only Aluma doing actual damage down low. Tech will look for open shooters all game, as it prides itself on being an efficient snail, looking for the best shot possible — like a poor man’s championship Virginia team.
If Duke can disrupt the deep ball, then it can afford to constantly attack down low in a size mismatch. Eventually, this will force the Hokies to collapse, and that’s when Duke can let it fly.
This is still a very dangerous offense with five weapons on the floor at all times, including top option Paolo Banchero.
Virginia Tech vs. Duke Betting Pick
I will admit, I was shocked at how low the number opened. The market may finally be starting to catch up on the Blue Devils. Their recent runs have made this an intriguing angle to bet on.
Instead, I will focus on the over.
While it’s never easy to go against a number that has already dropped 1.5 points, I’m firm in my thinking that this ticket will cash. Plus, if every bet I made that had CLV cashed, I would be in a mansion on an island with an endless supply of Almond Joys and Coors Light.
Duke is still the best team in the conference, and more importantly, it boasts the best offense. The Blue Devils have no shortage of depth and talent to attack with. While I expect them to struggle with Virginia Tech’s third-ranked perimeter defense, they will still be able to slash to the basket and punish the Hokies down low.
The Hokies, meanwhile, have finally been able to put it all together — something I’ve been waiting for all season. This is an uber-efficient team that was just a hair away from its potential.
With the offense now clicking, it has a prime upset opportunity against a defense that has been drastically reeling.
With that said, I will be taking the over and Virginia Tech for small in what will be another disappointing end for Coach K’s farewell tour.
Picks: Over 136.5 (0.5 units) · Virginia Tech +6 (0.25 units)
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