Virginia faces Duke in a battle of No. 4 vs. No. 1 on Saturday from Cameron Indoor Stadium at 6pmET. This game will be nationally televised on ESPN.
Cavs are playing lights out
So much for looking ahead. Virginia’s 81-59 win over Virginia Tech on Tuesday was an incredibly impressive performance. The Hokies were ranked as high as No. 7 in some polls and the Cavs completely dismantled them. Virginia had a 44-22 lead at the half and cruised in the second half. De’Andre Hunter led the Cavs with 21 points, while guard Kyle Guy (15pts) and Ty Jerome (14pts, 12 rebs) had big games. Virginia shot 58.5 percent from the floor and 13-of-24 (54.2%) from beyond the arc. They also outrebounded the Hokies by 11 and held them to 43.2 percent from the floor.
— Virginia Men's Basketball (@UVAMensHoops) January 16, 2019
Virginia is 16-0 this season and 4-0 in the ACC. The Cavs are doing it with defense as they have not allowed an opponent to score more than 60 points in their last four games and just twice in their last 10. All four wins against ACC opponents have been by an average of 20.5 points per game. Guy leads the Cavaliers with 15.2 points per game, while Jerome leads in assists (4.9) and steals (1.8).
The Cavs are not just a defensive juggernaut, leading the nation in points allowed per game (51.7ppg) and three-point percentage (25.1%). They rank seventh in three-point shooting (40.9%) and 44th in field goal percentage (48.1%)_.
Duke played shorthanded
Even with stud freshmen Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett on the floor, along with three average players, Duke would probably be a top-25 team. But with Cam Reddish (13.3ppg) out with an illness and point guard Tre Jones suffering a shoulder injury in the first 10 minutes of the game, Syracuse took advantage of a depleted squad, outlasting the Blue Devils, 95-91 in overtime on Monday. Williamson scored 35 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Barrett added 23 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists for No. 1 Duke. The Blue Devils wound up shooting just 38.8 percent from the field and 9-of-43 (20.9%) from beyond the arc. The supporting players struggled, especially 6-7 junior Jack White, who went 0-10 from the field and three-point range in 42 minutes.
Coach K: “Life happens. Life happened to our team tonight.” pic.twitter.com/DZcJzulpJq
— Duke Basketball (@DukeMBB) January 15, 2019
Jones is expected to miss this game but Reddish should be back. They’ll need all the help they can get against a very tough Virginia team. Barrett leads the Blue Devils with 23.4 points per game while Williamson leads in rebounds (9.4) and field goal percentage (66.2%).
Duke averages 90.2 points per game to rank third in the nation. They shoot 48.8 percent from the field (26th), but their kryptonite appears to be the three-point shot (31.8%) and they shoot a subpar 67.7% from the line. They do outrebound teams by 11.3 per game. On defense, they are allowing just 66.9 points per contest on 37.8 percent shooting (6th) and 29.8 percent from beyond the arc (30th).
- 2-6 ATS last 8 in series.
- Home team is 6-20-1 ATS last 27 in series.
- 21-8 ATS last 29 road games.
- 28-8-1 ATS last 30 vs. ACC.
- Underdog is 6-0 ATS last 6 in series.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
How do you not like Virginia in a regular season game? The Cameron Crazies won’t bother them. They didn’t last season when they beat them by two as a 3.5-point dog or two seasons ago, when they lost by one getting 2.5. With Duke not having Jones, they now need Barrett to take control and that’s not always a good thing. Virginia has physical defenders in Jack Salt (6-10, 250), Mamadi Diakite (6-9, 230), Braxton Key (6-8, 225) and Jay Huff (7-1, 232) who can put a body on Williamson and 6-11 Marques Bolden all game.
Prediction: Virginia +2.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Last year’s game was in the sixties and the last three went under in this series. Virginia doesn’t go under every game because their offense is extremely efficient. Duke does defend well but they haven’t faced a defense like Virginia’s and the Cavs’ will also be patient as always. They don’t want to play game in the 80s. They are 39-19-1 Under their last 59 ACC games and 6-2 Under their last 8 at Duke. Duke is 10-3-2 Under the last 15 overall.
Prediction: Under 141