Saturday college basketball and we will see the Duke Blue Devils travel to John Paul Jones Arena to take on the Virginia Cavaliers. The game has a start time of 7:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on ESPN. Current Vegas betting odds have Virginia listed as 6 point favorites, while the total is set at 132.
Analysis: The Duke Blue Devils come in off a very tough 77-73 loss at Notre Dame in a game that the Blue Devils had a DD lead in the 2nd half of the game. The loss has the Blue Devils at 17-3 record on the year, which includes a 4-3 mark in the ACC. Making it worse for duke now is the shocking dismissal of Rasheed Sulaimon from the team. That makes this young team even younger and not as deep.The road team is 15-5-1 ATS the last 21 in the series, but Duke is 0-4 ATS in the last 4 meetings with Virginia and 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games following a ATS loss. The Blue Devils have been a very good offensive team this year, ranking 11th in scoring (81.2 ppg), 8th in shooting (49.6%), 49th in 3 point shooting (37.7%) and 161st in FT shooting (69.4%). Defensively the Blue Devils have been rather average, as they come in ranked 144th in points allowed (64.6 ppg), 179th in defensive FG% (42.7%) and 30th in 3 point defense (30.0%).
The Virginia Cavaliers come in as the 2nd ranked team in the nation with a perfect 19-0 record on the year. That record includes a 10-0 mark at home and a 7-0 record in the ACC. Virginia has gone 26-6-2 ATS in their last 34 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record and 13-2-1 ATS in their last 16 games following a ATS loss. The Cavs have been an average offensive team this year, ranking 162nd in scoring (68.3 ppg), 35th in shooting (37.3%), 24th in 3 point shooting (39.5%) and 17th in FT shooting (74.6%). Defensively the Cavaliers have been excellent, ranking 1st in points allowed (49.2 ppg), 2nd in defensive FG% (34.2%) and 36th in 3 point defense (30.2%).
Pick: Going with the Cavs in this game. Duke is just not playing well right and losing Rasheed will hurt their depth. Virginia plays excellent defense and yes Duke can score some points, but they just won't crack this Virginia defense on their home floor. Duke is 0-4 ATS the last 4 meetings in Virginia and this is by far the best Cavs team in that 4 game stretch. Virginia is 20-6-2 ATS in their last 28 vs. the ACC and 13-2-1 ATS in their last 16 games following a ATS loss. Duke is vulnerable and I say Virginia wins this one by at least 8-10 points.
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