The Duke Blue Devils are doing all they can to make the final season for Coach K a memorable one. As March approaches the Blue Devils have won nine of their last 10 games. The lone loss in that stretch? That came against tonight’s opponent, the Virginia Cavaliers.
The Cavs are arguably playing their best basketball of the season, but will that be enough against one of the best and most balanced teams in the country, who is also looking to avenge its most recent loss?
Find out in our free college basketball picks and predictions for Duke vs. Virginia on Wednesday, February 23.
Duke vs Virginia odds
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Virginia opened this ACC clash as a 4.5-point home underdog and has been faded to five at some spots. The total hit the board at 129.5 and some 130s are starting to pop up. When these teams met at Cameron Indoor a few weeks ago, Duke was an 11-point favorite but the total was a similar 128.5.
Duke vs Virginia predictions
Predictions made on 2/23/2022 at 12:15 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Duke vs Virginia game info
• Location: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, VA
• Date: Wednesday, February 23, 2022
• Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN
Duke at Virginia betting preview
Duke: No key injuries to report.
Virginia: Armaan Franklin G (Questionable).
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The road team is 22-7-1 ATS in the last 30 meetings between these ACC foes. Find more NCAA betting trends for Duke vs. Virginia.
Duke vs Virginia picks and predictions
Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.
Virginia upset Duke at Cameron Indoor 69-68 as 11-point road underdogs thanks to an uncharacteristically sloppy performance from the Blue Devils. Duke turned the ball over 14 times in that matchup and you know Coach K gave the team a hard time after that.
And to be fair, Duke has responded well, winning four straight games following the loss by an average of 9.8 points per game. Meanwhile, Virginia enters this game having won five of its last six but it’ll be hard-pressed to repeat that performance in this revenge spot for the Blue Devils.
For starters, Duke is one of the most well-rounded teams in the country. The Blue Devils rank ninth in Kenpom’s adjusted efficiency margin, which includes 10th on offense and 22nd on defense, and they have great depth. Paolo Banchero leads the team in scoring at 16.9 points per game, but Duke has five players in total putting up at least 9.9 ppg.
Usually, when we think of Virginia basketball, we think of pressuring defense, timely 3-point shooting, and a pace that resembles that of a snail. While the snail part is the same, this is not the Tony Bennett team we have become accustomed to.
These Cavs rank 81st in the country when it comes to adjusted defensive efficiency and rank 230th in opponent 3-point shooting percentage while shooting just 32% from three themselves. That doesn’t help to go against a Duke team that limits opponents to 29.7% from beyond the arc.
Even though another win over the Blue Devils would be a huge boost for Cavaliers’ Tournament chances, if Duke does a little better job taking care of the ball and protecting the defensive glass, they shouldn’t have too much trouble getting the cover here.
Prediction: Duke -4.5 (-110)
The total for the last matchup between these two closed at 128.5 and went Over in fairly comfortable fashion, eclipsing the number by 8.5 points. And it’s not a stretch to think that will happen once again.
Obviously, Virginia makes you play at their super-slow pace and execute in the halfcourt. Well, Duke is good enough to do that. Proper ball movement by the Blue Devils should negate the Cavs’ constant double teams.
The Blue Devils likely won’t hit their season average of 80.1 ppg, but their depth should allow them to come close to the 68 points they put up in the previous meeting.
Meanwhile, an noted, the Cavs are not a good 3-point shooting team this season, but they should do better than the 2-11 they managed when these two teams met back in Cameron Indoor. On top of that, the Cavs have upped their scoring output to 66.7 points over the last six games.
Duke is a strong defensive squad but the boost from being at home should help Virginia do its part to send this one Over.
Prediction: Over 129.5 (-110)
The Blue Devils should be well prepared for Tony Bennett and the Virginia defense to throw the kitchen sink at them in this one. That said, Duke's offense is too balanced to say no to a team ttal of 66.5. For starters, this is a number Duke has failed to go Over just once in the last 19 games, including the game against Virginia.
But it's been able to do that because of its balance and depth. That depth has made the Blue Devils the best shooting team in the ACC, hitting 48.4 % of their attempts from the floor.
And as we mentioned, this is not the same Cavaliers defense. The Blue Devils have too many options for this version of the Cavs to cover and should be able to top their team total in this one.
Pick: Duke Team Total Over 66.5 (-115)
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