Wednesday’s matchup between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Duke Blue Devils will mark the start of Coach K’s final conference slate, and it figures to be a good one. AP No. 2 Duke and its offense led by Paulo Banchero and Wendell Moore will take on the fearless Hokies defense in an ACC showdown.
Continue reading for our free picks and predictions for Virginia Tech vs. Duke on Wednesday, December 22.
Virginia Tech vs Duke odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
This game opened with Duke as 11-point favorites but has since moved down to -8.5. The total has also seen some movement, opening at 140 and currently sitting at 138.5.
Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.
Virginia Tech vs Duke predictions
Predictions made on 12/22/2021 at 12:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Virginia Tech vs Duke game info
• Location: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, NC
• Date: Thursday, December 22, 2021
• Tip-off: 9:00 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN2
Virginia Tech at Duke betting preview
Virginia Tech: No injuries to report.
Duke: No injuries to report.
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.
Betting trend to know
Virginia Tech’s games went 7-1 to the Under to start the season, but have gone Over in 3 of the 4 games since. Find more NCAA betting trends for Virginia Tech vs. Duke.
Virginia Tech vs Duke 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.
To put it bluntly, Duke’s offense is terrifying. They’re fifth in the nation in scoring with third-year breakout Wendell Moore (16.9 PPG) and five-star phenom and future high-end lottery pick Paolo Banchero (16.5 PPG) leading the way. But the Blue Devils aren’t achieving this through hero ball, as they’re 10th in the nation in assists as well.
There is no singular read on Duke’s offense. In their half-court offense, they use pick and rolls to create tough decisions for defenses. If they bring in help, the ball gets kicked for an open perimeter look (Duke ranks 58th in three-point percentage). Play them straight up and Duke uses their size and talent advantage to get good looks near the rim (38th in two-point percentage).
The proof is in the pudding: in Duke’s last eight wins they have averaged 93.3 points per game. This is where much of the intrigue is for this ACC matchup, as Virginia Tech brings a defense that could provide a challenge, ranking 10th in points allowed and 18th in KenPom defensive efficiency.
Much of the Hokies' defensive strengths come with their ability to defend the three, allowing just a 25.5% three-point percentage — good for tenth in the nation. Commitment to denying the perimeter leaves them as just an average defensive team inside (163rd in two-point percentage), but they, at the very least, defend that area with discipline (22nd in opponent free throw attempts).
For these reasons, Duke’s game against Gonzaga is a good mold for the Hokies to try to fit this game into. Yes, Gonzaga lost by three, but they were able to hold the Blue Devils to just 7/23 (30.44%) from three. Where Gonzaga lost the game was through their foul troubles, sending Duke to the line 25 times. If Virginia Tech can limit those trips and bring an offensive three-point performance closer to their tenth-ranked 40% instead of Gonzaga’s 6/21 (28.6%) performance that night, the game is undeniably manageable.
Prediction: Virginia Tech +8.5 (-110)
Duke has gone Over the total in five of their last eight games, including four times in their last five wins. But in those five wins, Duke averaged 23.2 free throw attempts. In the six games outside of that stretch, they’ve gone 2-4 to the Under. As mentioned previously, Virginia Tech only sends their opponents to the line 12.4 times per game — tenth-lowest in the nation.
If the Hokies can limit those charity stripe trips and combine that with their Top-10 perimeter defense, this game should have room to breathe with the Under.
Prediction: Under 138.5 (-110)
In the least disrespectful way possible, much of the outcome of this game depends on how much Virginia Tech’s Keve Aluma takes matters into his own hands. In Virginia Tech’s five games against Top-100 opponents according to KenPom rankings, they have lost four. In those four losses, Aluma has scored 15.7 points — a mark higher than his season average and the team-leading mark of 14.2 PPG. The issue is that the points come in the form of inefficient volume, shooting 6% below his season average while taking four more attempts.
Instead of hoping the Hokies keep it close in what should be a manageable matchup on paper, we can combine those same matchup advantages with Aluma’s tendency to call his own number for a bet on the Under.
Pick: Under 138.5 (-110)
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