As we approach the 2021 March Madness tournament, we bring you more and more college basketball game predictions. This time, we take a look at Virginia vs. Duke under the spotlight.
The Hoos are currently ruling the ACC. They are on pace to win another conference regular-season title, but they can’t celebrate just yet.
The wounds of their first-round loss to the UMBC Retrievers in the 2018 March Madness may have been healed by the national title they won a year later, but that doesn’t mean they have learned their lesson in taking opponents lightly. Especially not when it’s Duke.
The Blue Devils are not having a relatively excellent season, but they remain a dangerous opponent to any team.
Virginia vs. Duke Game Info
- When: Saturday, February 20 | 8:00pm ET
- Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham
- TV: ESPN
- Radio: Virginia / Duke
- Live Stream: CBS
- NCAA Basketball Odds: Virginia Cavaliers (-1.5) // Duke Blue Devils (+1..5)| O/U: 132.0
Are the Virginia Cavaliers a Safe Bet?
The Cavaliers are on a roll this season. They are considered one of the best teams in the ACC and currently hold a 15-4 overall record and are 11-2 SU in conference play.
While their recent match against Florida State kept them grounded after suffering an 81-60 defeat and breaking their four-game winning streak, they still put up decent numbers, shooting 47 percent from the field and converting 9-of-23 three-point attempts.
Although it wasn’t enough for the Cavaliers to get the win, this shows their efficiency when it comes to converting shots. At the end of the day, this makes them interesting to wager on.
Are the Duke Blue Devils a Safe Bet?Only a few weeks separate Duke and Selection Sunday. This means crunch time for the team that has been underperforming in the tournament. Considering that they are March Madness regulars, their 8-8 record (6-6 in the ACC) is concerning.
But say what you want to say about Duke, but what’s undeniable is the fact that they have dominated the Blue Devils when the two teams play in Durham. Duke has won nine of the last 10 games as the home team in this matchup, dating back to 2005.
The last time these two teams met in Durham, the Blue Devils came away with a 72-70 win in January of 2019.
The unexpected departure of Jalen Johnson also affected the team as the freshman opted to sit out in preparation for the NBA. The lack of a strong core lineup is holding them back, which magnifies their strong need for Johnson.
At the moment, Duke does not have the option to take its foot off the gas. The Blue Devils have to secure quality wins for a shot at making it to the Big Dance, beginning with an elite-level opponent such as Virginia.
Virginia vs. Duke NCAA Basketball Betting Trends
- Duke is 6-4 at home this season but went just 2-5 against the spread in those games.
- The Blue Devils have been home dogs just thrice since 2010, going 1-2 SU/ATS and with both losses coming against North Carolina.
- Virginia is 5-2 on the road this calendar year (3-1-1 ATS), with the point total going under in four of those games.
- The Cavaliers were favored to win 17 games this season. They posted a 15-2 record in those contests, but just a 10-6-1 record against the spread.
- Virginia is 8-0-0 ATS in its last nine games after failing to cover the spread in the previous game.
- The Over is 6-1 in Duke’s last seven games after covering the spread in the previous game.
Virginia vs. Duke Expert Betting Prediction
On paper, the Cavaliers are the favorites to win the match. The team boasts one of the most effective offenses in the league. Expect scorers Sam Hauser and Trey Murphy III to convert points as they boast a success rate north of 38 percent beyond the arc. If you want to stick to orthodox online sports betting, backing the Cavaliers puts your wagers on the safe side.
Duke never struggled with scoring. However, the team has to find its defensive rhythm as explained by the 38.9 percent of the 72.3 points they concede each game coming from inside the arc. Ultimately, looking at the NCAAB odds alone might not suffice as Duke has the potential to cover the spread or even bring about a surprise win.