Expect a championship-like atmosphere inside the Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham this weekend, as the No. 4 Virginia Cavaliers and their strangling defense will put Zion Williamson and the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils on an acid test. Will the Cavaliers prove to the rest of the college world that they are the real kings of the ACC by beating Duke on the road? Or will the Blue Devils put the first blemish on the Cavaliers’ record?
Betting Preview for the Virginia Cavaliers vs. Duke Blue Devils College Basketball Game on January 19, 2019
Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham
When: Saturday, January 19, 2019, 6:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Betting on the Virginia Cavaliers (16-0 Overall / 4-0 Conference)
Virginia’s defense is simply unforgiving. And against Duke, it has to be. The Cavaliers remained unbeaten this season after thrashing the No. 9 Virginia Tech Hokies at home, 81-59. It was a clinic by the Hoos on both ends of the court. Virginia shot an absurd 58.5 percent from the field and hit 13 3-pointer on 24 attempts. The Cavalier could barely do anything wrong in that game, which is also how you could describe their performance in most of their wins. Virginia is not as prolific in scoring as Duke, but that’s because the Cavaliers like to stifle their opponents’ attack by dictating the tempo and killing the pace. They are 353rd in adjusted tempo, per KenPom. They may not score a lot, but they are incredibly efficient on offense. They have a 56.1 effective field goal percentage and own a potent 40.9 percent shooting clip from behind the arc. Dismantling Duke’s offense requires tremendous effort, but Virginia cripple its opponents’ offense in its sleep. The Cavaliers have the best scoring defense in the nation with 51.7 points allowed per game.
Virginia is 9-1 against the spread (ATS) in its last 10 road games.
Betting on the Duke Blue Devils (14-2 Overall / 3-1 Conference)
Duke has lost two games so far this season, but Virginia, without the benefit of a hindsight of course, is arguably the hardest test on the Blue Devils’ schedule. The same can be said of what Duke is to the Cavaliers. The Blue Devils, however, have looked shaky of late. After escaping the No. 12 Florida State Seminoles in Tallahassee by the skin of their teeth in an 80-78 win, the Blue Devils got shell-shocked in a 95-91 home loss to the Syracuse Orange on Monday. Still, it’s hard to imagine a loaded and well-coached team like Duke losing two in a row, which favors the team’s odds to take down Virginia. Duke is always going to be a problem so long as it parades the duo of RJ Barrett and Zion Williamson. Barrett leads the team with 23.4 points per game, while Williamson generates 21.2 points per contest. Offensive rebounding will be key for Duke against Virginia, as the latter are masters in forcing bad-quality shots. The good thing for Duke is that it’s second in the league in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (13.6) and second in total rebounds (44.2). The Blue Devils are scoring and allowing 90.2 points and 66.9 points per game, respectively.
The Blue Devils are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home games.
Virginia wins, 80-74.
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