Betting Line: Duke -7
Over/Under: 144.5 at Bovada
Duke (32-3) may be the favourite to win the NCAA Basketball Championship in 2019, but they will have to get past a recent bogey team in Virginia Tech (29-7) to keep their incredible season alive.
Virginia Tech has not played an elite team so far in the Big Dance, but that changes in this game. While they did beat Duke in conference play later in the season the Blue Devils were without injured star Zion Williamson. The Hokies have played great defense in the tournament and that is the strength of their club ranking 9th in the nation only giving up an average of 61.7 ppg.
Duke has to feel a little lucky after their one-point win over Central Florida in their last game where they needed a late offensive rebound off a free throw to get the win. Williamson has been a monster in the tournament and the team also has RJ Bennett and both of these players will be off the board very early in the next NBA draft. Duke is a balanced team and they rank 9th in the nation in points per game.
This season Virginia Tech is 17-15-1 ATS and they have an Over/Under record of 16-16-1 and Duke is at 18-17-1 ATS with an Over/Under record of 10-24-2.
Virginia Tech is 5-2 ATS in their last seven games facing Duke.
In the last 17 games between these conference rivals the total has gone Under 13 times.
Virginia Tech did not have a great first half in their last game, but blew up in the 2nd half outscoring Liberty by 12 points in the second half in the 67-58 win. They had a less than stellar FG% of 42.1%, but their defense came through holding the Flames to 38.3% shooting and they shot the three-pointer better. Kerry Blackshear Jr. led Tech going for 19 points on 8/19 shooting and also had nine rebounds while the leading scorer on the season in Nickeil Alexander-Walker only had six points.
Alexander-Walker (16.4 ppg) had scored at least 20 points in his previous two games before the win over Liberty and Blackshear Jr. (14.9 ppg) has struggled a bit with his shot, but does have 34 points in the two Big Dance games. In the win over Duke in the regular season the Hokies shot 50% from the floor and if they can repeat that and play good defense they may pull off the upset.
In their last Duke got by ninth seed UCF winning 77-76 in a nail-biter. They shot a lower FG% in the game (44.8% to 48.1%, but the late offensive board was key and they had six more of them in the game. Williamson (22.5 ppg) was the player who missed the late free throw, but for the game had 32 points and 11 rebounds with Barrett (22.8 ppg) chiming in for 16 points on 6/15 shooting.
After Williamson came back from injury he won the MVP of the ACC Tournament and in the two tournament games he has 25 and 32 points, respectively, and Barrett has 42 points in the two games. Cam Reddish (13.6 ppg) has been steady as of late averaging 12 ppg in his last three games.
Virginia Tech Hokies betting trends
- 1-5 ATS in their last six NCAA Tournament games
- 6-2 ATS in their last eight games held at a neutral site
- Under record of 4-0 in their last four games
Duke Blue Devils betting trends
- 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven games overall
- 0-4 ATS in their last four NCAA Tournament games
- 1-3-1 ATS in their last five neutral site games
- Under record of 9-3 in their last 12 games facing a team with a winning record
Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Duke Blue Devils betting prediction
Zion Williamson will be facing Tech for the first time and that is not a meeting the Hokies want to have.
He will have another big game and while Duke played a close game in their last one, we don’t see this one being that close.
The Blue Devils will really play solid defense and Zion will dominate, leading Duke to win and cover the spread.
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