Virginia (16-0) at Duke (14-2)
When: Saturday, January 19th, 2019
Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium,
Durham, North Carolina
Time: 6:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Duke -4.5/139
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The Virginia Cavaliers and Duke Blue Devils came into this week knowing they were going to face each other on Saturday as the No. 1 and 2 teams respectively, but each had a game leading up to this. The Cavaliers had no trouble focusing in a blowout win over Virginia Tech on Tuesday, but the Blue Devils dropped a shocking home game to the Syracuse Orange in overtime. In all fairness to Duke, however, they were missing two key players for that game and should get one of them back for Saturday’s tilt. The Blue Devils were without sharpshooter Cameron Reddish (flu-like symptoms) and point guard Tre Jones, who injured his shoulder early in the first half. Jones is not expected to miss a significant amount of time, but is doubtful for Saturday, while Reddish is expected to play. The Blue Devils are the third highest scoring team in the country at 90.3 points per game, but Virginia comes in with the nation’s top scoring defense (51.7). Duke leads the all-time series 119-51, but Virginia took last year’s matchup 65-63 at Cameron Indoor.
We know the Cavaliers have a terrific defense, but the offense is one of the most efficient in the country and they spread the ball around effectively. Case in point was Tuesday, when junior guard Ty Jerome, who averages 13.2 points per game, nailed three 3-pointers in the first seven minutes. That forced the Hokies to focus on the perimeter more and opened up the inside for De’Andre Hunter, who scored 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Leading scorer Kyle Guy (15.3) hit his average of 15 on 5-of-9 shooting, while freshman Kihei Clarke contributed nine points.
Jim Boeheim’s zone defense forced Duke into attempting outside shots, as they took a school-record 43 3-point attempts, making just nine of them without Reddish. RJ Barrett, who leads the conference in scoring at 23.4, scored 23 but was just 4-of-17 from long range while attempting the second-most 3-pointers in school history. Future NBA lottery pick Zion Williamson scored a career-high 35 and pulled down 10 rebounds but missed a go-ahead free-throw with 16.2 seconds remaining in regulation.
What a fantastic matchup this is going to be. I thought Virginia Tech was going to give the Cavaliers trouble on Tuesday, but I was completely wrong. Virginia has what it takes to make a run at not only the Final Four, but win it all. Duke is amazing also, but not having their starting point guard is not good when facing the best defense in the country. I’ll take Virginia on the road.
Pick: Virginia +2
- Cavaliers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Cavaliers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Cavaliers are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Cavaliers are 21-8 ATS in their last 29 road games.
- Cavaliers are 21-8-1 ATS in their last 30 vs. Atlantic Coast.
- Cavaliers are 37-16-1 ATS in their last 54 games overall.
- Cavaliers are 40-18-1 ATS in their last 59 games following a straight up win.
- Cavaliers are 52-25-3 ATS in their last 80 Saturday games.
- Cavaliers are 37-18-2 ATS in their last 57 games following a ATS win.
- Cavaliers are 43-21-1 ATS in their last 65 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Blue Devils are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up loss.
- Blue Devils are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 Saturday games.
- Blue Devils are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- Blue Devils are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.
- Blue Devils are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Blue Devils are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Blue Devils are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
- Blue Devils are 12-5-1 ATS in their last 18 games following a ATS loss.
- Under is 37-14-1 in Cavaliers last 52 road games.
- Under is 36-14-2 in Cavaliers last 52 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Under is 34-15-2 in Cavaliers last 51 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Under is 9-4 in Cavaliers last 13 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
- Under is 11-5 in Cavaliers last 16 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Under is 35-16-2 in Cavaliers last 53 Saturday games.
- Under is 39-19-1 in Cavaliers last 59 vs. Atlantic Coast.
- Under is 5-0 in Blue Devils last 5 games after scoring more than 90 points in their previous game.
- Under is 4-0 in Blue Devils last 4 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Under is 4-1 in Blue Devils last 5 games following a straight up loss.
- Under is 10-3-2 in Blue Devils last 15 overall.
- Over is 3-1-1 in Blue Devils last 5 vs. Atlantic Coast.
- Under is 18-7-1 in Blue Devils last 26 home games.
- Under is 7-3-1 in Blue Devils last 11 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Cavaliers are 13-2-1 ATS in the last 16 meetings in Duke.
- Cavaliers are 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings.
- Under is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings in Duke.
- Under is 11-5 in the last 16 meetings.
- Road team is 20-6-1 ATS in the last 27 meetings.
- Underdog is 6-0 ATS in the last 6 meetings.