What is happening to the Duke Blue Devils? We’re not exactly sure, but we know something is wrong with this team from Durham because it shouldn’t have lost twice in three games to unranked teams. Their odds to win the 2020 NCAA Basketball Championship have slipped from +750 to +950 as a result. Still strong, but they’re no Kansas (+650). Meanwhile, the Virginia Cavaliers intend on proving that they can still take down the big dogs, as they look to boost their confidence heading into the March Madness as the national defending champions.
Betting Preview for the Duke Blue Devils vs Virginia Cavaliers NCAA College Basketball Game on February 29 2020
Where: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville
When: Saturday, February 29, 2020, 6:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Betting on the Duke Blue Devils (23-5 Overall / 13-4 Conference)
After losing in Raleigh to the NC State Wolfpack, the Blue Devils got back up with an 88-64 demolition job of a win over the Virginia Tech Hokies, but were tripped up again last Tuesday in a 113-101 overtime road loss to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in Winston-Salem. Wake Forest is a sub-100 team on the NET rankings, and the loss to the Demon Deacons surely hurt Duke’s chances to secure a No. 1 seed in the national tournament. Duke was victimized by Wake Forest’s aggressiveness. Wake Forest is 13th in the nation in drawing fouls from opponents and the Demon Deacons made sure to use that ability in the Duke game, as they went 37 of 50 from the line. Virginia plays a more deliberate type of basketball. It has one of the slowest tempo in Division I basketball, so Duke can expect its key players not to get into foul trouble early unlike in the Wake Forest game wherein the Blue Devils had two guys fouling out and two more finishing with four fouls each.
The over is 3-0 in the Blue Devils’ last three road games.
Betting on the Virginia Cavaliers (19-7 Overall / 11-5 Conference)
The Cavaliers have lost key talents over the offseason, but they are hanging on. They have even won four games in a row heading into a matchup with in-state rivals Virginia Tech Hokies this Wednesday. In their last game as of this writing, the Hoos defeated the Pittsburgh Panthers on the road, 59-56. Guard Kihei Clark led the Cavaliers with 17 points and five rebound to go with three assists, while three other starters each had 10 points. Virginia can still play great defense, though, not as noticeably unforgiving as last year. The Hoos are allowing just 52.7 points per game — tops in the nation — and limits opponents to only 43.4 effective field goal percentage. Virginia’s defense is also ranked fourth by KenPom with 86.2 points allowed per 100 possessions. Against a high-scoring team like Duke, it will be important for Virginia to control the pace by winning the rebounding battle. That’s largely going to be up to the pair of Braxton Key and Mamadi Diakite, who are the team’s leaders in rebounds. The Cavs are 28th nationally with a 78.1 defensive rebounding percentage.
Duke wins, 67-62.
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