Homecourt Huge With High-scoring #4 Duke Hosting Defensive #2 Virginia on Saturday

Kevin Stott

Saturday, January 27, 2018 2:18 PM UTC

Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018 2:18 PM UTC

The nation’s highest-scoring Offense collides with the #1 Defense on Saturday when #2 Virginia heads to Durham, NC and Cameron Indoor Arena to face #4 Duke in a massive ACC Conference showdown. So does the Science and the Trends—which all favor the visiting Cavaliers—overpower the Art of the actual situation and big Homecourt edge for Coach K and his Blue Devils here?

#2 Virginia vs #4 Duke

FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: Duke 63 Virginia 51

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Free NCAAB Picks: Duke -4½ & Under 136Best Lines Offered: at BookmakerOdds Overview

#4-ranked Duke play host to Kyle Guy and #2 Virginia in a huge ACC showdown from Cameron Indoor Arena in Durham, NC on Saturday afternoon. Offshore sportsbooks BetOnline and Sportsbetting.ag opened up Duke as 4-point Favorites before the Blue Devils were instantly bet down to -3½, and then back up to -4½ -115 around an hour later at both sportsbooks for this high-profile game from Tobacco Road. The Total opened up at 136 at Bookmaker. Looking at the Futures Book odds to win the 2018 Men’s National Championship for these two legitimate contenders, the Blue Devils are Favorites to win it all at 5Dimes at +425, with the Cavaliers at 20/1.

Virginia Cavaliers

Workmanlike Virginia ranks #1 in the nation in Scoring Defense (51.6 ppg) and #2 in Defensive FG Percentage (36.4%) and the #2 Cavaliers (8-0 in ACC) pride themselves in playing elite, lockdown Defense and trying to make sure the opponent gets the worst shot possible and working to control a game’s Pace, something that will truly be put to the test on the Road at Cameron Indoor Arena against prolific #4 Duke, who already has 2 Losses in ACC play. On Tuesday night, Guy (15.3 ppg) and Virginia stymied Clemson, 61-36, covering ATS as 9½-point Home Favorites in a game that went Under the closing Total of 119½—the 4th straight Under and 12th in the L14 Hoos (4-13 O/U) games overall.

The only SU Loss for Devon Hall (3.2 apg, 47.8% FG), Isaiah Wilkins (6.8 rpg), Ty Jerome and Virginia (69.2 PF-51.6 PA) this Regular Season came at Morgantown against then-#18 ranked Big 12 side West Virginia, 69-61. Some of the Trends here show the Cavaliers are a money-earning 6-1 ATS the L7 on the Road and 13-3 ATS the L16 Saturdays. The Under is 16-5 the L21 Virginia Saturday games and 45-22-2 the L69 Cavaliers ACC games (67.2%).

Duke Blue Devils

This game may be more important to high-scoring Duke for several reasons, but the psychological reality of being able to defend its Homecourt in such a big spot against a team unbeaten in conference and hold on to any hope of a possible #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament means avoiding that third ACC Loss here and tightening up the race are two of them. In the Blue Devils last game on Tuesday at Wake Forest, Duke won 84-70, covering ATS as 10-point Road chalks in Winston-Salem as Wendell Carter Jr. had a big game with 26 points and 12 rebounds, Marvin Bagley III had 16 and 11 rebounds, Gary Trent Jr. scored 19 and veteran Grayson Allen added 16 in the victory which saw the Freshmen-heavy Blue Devils only get 9 points from their Bench in racking up their 5th straight Win.

Duke (91.6 PF-72.6 PA) is a money-burning 3-13-1 ATS its L17 Saturday games (18.8%) and 0-4 ATS its L4 Home games vs. Road Team with Winning Percentages higher than 60%, but Duke (6-2 ACC) is 4-1 ATS its L5 overall. In this spot last season with Virginia hosting Duke, the Blue Devils won 65-55 as 5-point Road Dogs in a game which went Under the Total of 128½.

Series Trends Favor Virginia, Under in This Spot While The Art Points to Duke

All of the series Trends point to taking Virginia and the Under in this spot with the Cavaliers 12-3-1 ATS the L15 at Duke, 5-2 ATS the L7 meetings overall with the Road team a profitable 19-6-1 ATS the L26 (76%) in this ACC series and the Underdog a perfect 5-0 ATs the L5 meetings. And, the Under is 5-2 the L7 at Cameron, proving Virginia can indeed control the Pace in this game in front of the Cameron Crazies. And with Duke—who have actually W3 in a row SU in this now rivalry series and are 8-2 the L10—sporting the highest Points Per game average in the nation heading in, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Hoos will try to milk every possession. But with Duke (13-5 O/U) being such an Over team (Over is 7-3 L10 Home), there will definitely be a collision of styles in this can’t-miss affair and with the talented Blue Devils Starting 5 familiar with the Home rims and sightlines, Duke will get their points but will still probably be 25-30 points under their average as this one could end up playing out like an (ACC or NCAA) Tournament game.

While the Science points heavily to Virginia, the Art is pointing to backing hosts Duke, with those 2 ACC Losses propelling them and the valuable Homecourt situation in a game to be televised nationally. The Blue Devils can get scoring from all five of its Starters—Player of the Year candidate Bagley III (21.6 ppg), Allen (15.2 ppg), Trent Jr. (14.7), Carter Jr. (14.4 ppg) and Trevon Duval (11.5 ppg)—and at least three of these Blue Devils—watch Trent Jr. and Carter Jr.—should have big games for Coach K in this crucial “pride” spot, with Rebounding and 3-Point FG percentage possibly two biggest factors in a relatively low-scoring, Duke victory.

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