The #7 Duke Blue Devils (23-4, 13-3 ACC) play its first of three consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference contests on the road beginning Wednesday night against the Virginia Cavaliers (17-10, 11-6 ACC). Virginia went into Cameron Indoor earlier this month and stunned the Blue Devils, 69-68.
The ACC clash tips off at 7 p.m. EST inside John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, VA. Duke is a 4.5-point favorite, and the over-under total is at 130.0 points.
What to Know – Duke Blue Devils
The Blue Devils are chasing their first regular-season conference title since 2010 and own a one-game advantage with four games to play. Duke has won four in a row since the surprising defeat to the Cavaliers at home and will surely be out for revenge Wednesday night.
Duke boasts the league’s top-scoring offense, averaging 80.1 points per game while hitting 48.4% of its shots from the field and 36.7% from the 3-point line. On defense, the Blue Devils are third in the conference surrendering 65.3 points per game, 40.6% shooting from the floor, and 29.7% from deep.
Six players scored in double-figures, led by freshman Paolo Banchero with 17 points, and the Blue Devils blitzed the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday, 88-70. Wendell Moore Jr. added 16 points, seven assists, and six steals. Duke shot 51.6% from the floor and outrebounded the Seminoles, 41-23.
Duke is 15-9-3 against the spread this season and 5-3 ATS on the road. The Blue Devils are 4-9 ATS in their previous 13 contests against Virginia.
What to Know – Virginia Cavaliers
Virginia sits on the bubble of the NCAA Tournament heading into the final weeks of the regular season, needing another key victory to help strengthen its resume. The Cavaliers have won five of their last six contests and moved to the upper half of the ACC standings.
The Cavaliers are near the bottom of the ACC in offense, scoring 63.4 points per game. Virginia shoots 45.4% from the floor and 32.0% from the arc. Virginia’s defense is best in the conference, limiting opponents to 60.1 points per game, 42.6% shooting from the field, and 34.4% from three.
Trailing by eight at the break, the Cavaliers outscored Miami, 44-33, in the second half to pull away with a 74-71 road victory. Jayden Gardner poured in a team-high 23 points, and Kihei Clark added 17 points in the contest. The Cavaliers shot 49.0% from the floor for their fourth-straight conference win.
Virginia is 14-13 ATS with a 7-7 mark ATS at home. The Cavaliers are 5-1 ATS over their last six games but 2-6 ATS in their previous eight games facing the Blue Devils at home.
The Pick is In
Duke needs a win to hang on to the top spot in the conference standings while the Cavaliers desperately need another key victory as the season winds down. The Blue Devils are too talented to drop a pair of games to Virginia, and even on the road, look for Duke to take care of business. Anticipate a back-and-forth battle with the Blue Devils pulling away in the second half.
Betting Pick: Duke Blue Devils -4.5