Duke Blue Devils (20-2) at Virginia Cavaliers (20-1)
NCAA BB: Saturday, February 8, 2019 at 6:00 PM (John Paul Jones Arena)
Line and Odds: Virginia -2 — Over/Under: 135.5
FREE NCAA BB Pick Duke Blue Devils vs Virginia Cavaliers
The Virginia Cavaliers look to avenge their loss in Durham with a win this Saturday in Charlottesville. Despite playing without Freshman point guard Tre Jones last time the two faced each other, the Blue Devils were able to defeat the defensive stalworth that is Virginia. This time around, the Cavaliers look to control the pace and use their home court advantage to vault them to a victory over ACC foe Duke.
#2 Duke Blue Devils
Since their loss to Syracuse on January 14th, the fabulous freshmen of Duke have helped contribute to their six-game winning streak. The task at hand for the Cavaliers is a tall one, indeed, as they look to slow down two Wooden Award front-runners: RJ Barrett and Zion Williamson. Over their six-game winning streak, Duke has averaged 78.5 points per game. Two players coach K should thank for that high scoring are Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett, who have accounted for about 58% of the Devil’s points. Over the last six games, Duke has been dismantling their opponents, winning by an average margin of nearly 18 points per game.
While Zion and RJ are the obvious tandem that makes this team so dominant, point guard Tre Jones’ production simply cannot be overlooked. Jones’ stats may not wow you but throughout this season, Tre has maintained a 4.78 assist to turnover ratio, which ranks third in the nation. The question in this matchup is whether or not Tre will be able to help Duke to a solid away win against the Cavaliers. With a lack of depth, it may be difficult to pull out a victory against the stifling defense of Virginia. Nonetheless, we should see Zion and RJ light up the scoreboard, which will make for an exciting game for any basketball enthusiast.
#3 Virginia Cavaliers
With the emergence of sophomore guard, Deandre Hunter as a top scorer for the ‘Hoos, Virginia has shown no signs of slowing down in league play. Although UVA escaped with an overtime win against NC State (the team that scored 24 points against VA Tech), the Cavaliers have stuck true to Tony Bennett’s style of play. Virginia will look to control the pace and limit their turnovers in this Saturday’s matchup against Duke.Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, that style of play may be difficult if point guard Ty Jerome is sitting out. Jerome, who has averaged 13 points and 5 assists this year, is the veteran catalyst of this team who has been dealing with back soreness. If Jerome is unable to go, Virginia will have to count on Kyle Guy and De’Andre Hunter to lead them to victory. Hunter, who had 18 points in the previous matchup against the Blue Devils, has averaged 15.4 points and 5.8 rebounds in his last five games. The potential lottery pick will need to continue his strong play this Saturday if Virginia is to earn a victory. As for Kyle Guy, he will need to be the guy against for UVA. Guy always seems to hit big shots in big games, and in order for Virginia to win, he will need to eclipse his scoring average of 14.5 per game.
It is no surprise that Tony Bennet’s squad has the first ranked defense and commit the fewest turnovers per game in the country. The Cavaliers will look to limit the Blue Devils’ transition scoring, as well as get big games from Hunter and Guy to come out on top in one of the best matchups all year.
Cover The Spread 365 NCAA BB Betting Trends:
Duke Blue Devils
Duke is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Duke’s last 5 games
Duke is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games on the road
Duke is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games on the road
Duke is 2-7 ATS in its last 9 games when playing Virginia
Duke is 21-4 SU in its last 25 games when playing Virginia
Duke is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Virginia
Virginia is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 games
Virginia is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games when playing Duke
Virginia is 4-21 SU in its last 25 games when playing Duke
Virginia is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games when playing at home against Duke
Virginia is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against Duke
FREE NCAA BB Prediction Duke Blue Devils vs Virginia Cavaliers
In this matchup, we have one of the best scoring offenses vs. the best scoring defense in the country. This game is the rematch everyone has been waiting for, and it is likely to be a great one. Although Virginia came up short in their previous matchup against Duke, I think Coach Bennett will make the proper adjustments for this game. I am picking the Virginia Cavaliers to win this one.
PICK: Virginia -2