NCAA Basketball Picks: Virginia Tech vs. Duke

Steven Suarez

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 3:56 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 5, 2013 3:56 PM UTC

The Blue Devils are riding on a high right now, but need to make sure they don't suffer a letdown at home against Virginia Tech. Let's examine this conference battle closer as we decide where we want to place our NCAA Basketball picks.

Odds Overview

The college basketball odds are steep for this ACC battle at Cameron Indoor. Duke is favored by 20 points right now, though there's a good chance we'll see some movement on that number throughout the day.

An O/U of 149 suggests a lot of points are in order for us here, though we wonder if that total is a little high. After all, the UNDER has hit in four straight meetings between these teams. Does that mean that we should look at the total for our sports picks tonight?

Virginia Tech Hokies

This has hardly been a memorable season for Virginia Tech. They're at 13-16 SU on the year and have lost 10 of their last 12 ahead of this trip to Durham.

The tide has turned somewhat here over the last 10 days, with the Hokies winning two of three. They beat Florida State 80-70 and Clemson 69-61, though both wins came at home.

The Hokies are essentially a one-man team, with Erick Green accounting for a large chunk of the squad's scoring.

Green is averaging a ridiculous 25.0 PPG on the season, while shooting 48.0 percent overall, 38.8 percent from three, and 82.2 percent from the line, and is also doing his fair share of rebounding (4.0 RPG) and dishing out assists (4.0 APG).

Only one other Hokie is averaging in double figures, while the entire team has been awful on the defensive end. Virginia Tech is giving up an average of 73.7 PPG this season, and that number swells to 79.9 PPG on the road.

Duke Blue Devils

Revenge is always sweet, especially in front of your loyal fans. Duke returned the favor against Miami (FL) over the weekend in a 79-76 win at home.

The man of the moment was Ryan Kelly, and it wasn't even close. Kelly returned to live game action for the first time since early January and was absolutely on fire. He ended up with 36 points on 10-of-14 shooting and added seven rebounds, two steals and a block.

It was a special performance from the senior, as he was pretty much the sole reason Duke was able to stay undefeated at home (15-0 SU).

As a team, the Blue Devils shot 52.0 percent from the field and connected on 11-of-23 from beyond the arc. They were beat up pretty bad on the boards, but Kelly's hot hand kept Duke chugging along throughout and they were able to hold on.

Though the Blue Devils are just 2-5 ATS over their previous seven matchups overall, they're covered in five of their past seven at Cameron Indoor.


College Basketball Pick

It's pretty tough going against Duke at home regardless of opponent, but we worry that the energy might not be there after that emotional win over Miami, especially with a regular season finale looming at UNC over the weekend.

That said, don't forget about the Blue Devils' 32-point win up in Blacksburg just under two weeks ago. That game got out of hand in a hurry.

So which way do we go with our college basketball picks?

We like the UNDER more than anything else. Though it's a lock the Blue Devils will be putting plenty of points on the scoreboard, we're not as sure about Virginia Tech, who are way too reliant on one player to get them going. We could easily see an 85-60 type game here, so in the end we are going to recommend a small play on the UNDER.

NBA Pick: UNDER 149

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