NCAA Basketball Picks: Duke vs. Virginia Tech

Jeff Grant

Thursday, February 21, 2013 1:00 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 1:00 PM UTC

The Duke Blue Devils have won 16 of their last 17 games following a loss, as they prepare to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg. Let our free NCAA basketball picks help you decide who will cover the spread tonight.

Let’s take a closer look at the betting line for this Atlantic Coast Conference affair that tips off at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Bouncing back

Duke dropped an 83-81 road decision to the Maryland Terrapins as four-point favorites last Saturday, while going OVER the posted total of 141. The Blue Devils are 1-5 against the spread (ATS) as road favorites during the 2012-13 NCAA basketball season, with the OVER going 3-2-1 in that situation.

It’s important to note that this program has lost back-to-back games just once since the 2009-10 campaign—posting a 16-1 mark following a setback during that span.

Long losing streak

Virginia Tech has lost eight games in a row, including a 90-86 overtime defeat to the NC State Wolfpack as 14-point road underdogs last time out, while going OVER the betting total for a second consecutive contest.

The Hokies have been out-rebounded by a 4.6 boards per game during that stretch, but they may have better success in that category Thursday night, considering the Blue Devils have lost the battle on the glass all year (32.1 to 32.9).

Betting trends favor the visitor 

College basketball handicappers will find that the Blue Devils are 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS as road favorites of 12.5 or more points in their last six opportunities, while the visiting team has enjoyed a 8-3-1 ATS run in this series.

The Hokies covered two of three meetings in this series a year ago, but they’ve failed to cash a ticket in four of their last five home games versus the Blue Devils. Could we be in a nice spot to catch the NCAA basketball odds makers giving the Devils too many points?

Wearing down?

Duke’s starting unit averages 68.0 points per game, which accounts for 87 percent of the team’s scoring—the most for in major college basketball program in the nation. The Blue Devils may be showing signs of wearing down in February, as it has dropped its last three games versus the number.



I’m going to recommend that readers back the Hokies as one of their NCAA basketball picks Thursday night, as senior guard Erick Green leads the nation in averaging 25.3 points per game, which should provide enough offensive punch to stay within this number.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Virginia Tech Hokies +13.5 at Pinnacle
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