NCAAB Preview - #3 Duke Takes on #20 Virginia Tech

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Lindsay Van Gyn

February 26th, 2019

After falling from the number-one spot in the rankings, Duke hits the road and tries to cover a nominal number without Zion Williamson in the fold.

It's a tough loss for the Blue Devils, and one that's ignited a national debate on the nature of one-and-done. But we're not here for that! We're here for some NCAAM betting tips so I've got you covered.

#3 Duke Blue Devils -3.5 over #20 Virginia Tech Hokies Cassell Coliseum - 7PM EST

Is this going to be an interesting game? Maybe. The Hokies are 0-4 SU against top 16 teams but Duke’s Zion Williamson is out and this may lead to a tight score and test the nerves of the Blue Devils

Duke did their job, as they should have, without Williams and avenged their early season loss to Syracuse on Saturday. If surprise-fill-in Alex O’Connell can keep sinking baskets, they’ll be fine sans Zion. However, Duke has lost at Cassell Coliseum on their past two visits so they better stay on their avenging ways. They face consecutive games with the top-6 teams in the ACC and need the momentum.

For the Hokies, this is going to be a feat to overcome. However, Virginia Tech is ranked 4th nationally in defensive rebounds and Duke’s rate on the offensive boards is way down around 313th. It's a tough number to pad without Zion, who does a lot of work in this department. If the Hokies can focus on this weakness and muster their lethal 3-point average, they could knock the Devil’s off their game.

Expect Duke to take this but not by much.  Duke is 5-2 ATS on the road and V-Tech is 6-7 ATS at home, so I would suggest you take Duke to cover.  

#5 North Carolina Tar Heels -11.5 over Syracuse Orange Dean Smith Centre - 9pm EST

Both these teams are on the opposite ends of the just-played-Duke-stick. For The ’Cuse, this could peel off a sour loss and they could pick up a sweet victory (Orange you glad I used those puns?).

Syracuse has that 2-3 zone defense that sits at around 16th in the country and if they can confound the offense, especially Nassir Little, they could come within inches. Unfortunately, Syracuse is 1-7 SU in their last 8 match-ups with UNC and those are some tall trends to overcome.

The Tar Heels are not going to let this happen. They are way faster to the boards in games against the Orange and Nassir Little has a knack for being able to tell when the shot is not going to make it.

The O/U (148.5) on this one is staggering which suggests a high scoring affair, and the large number is going to scare some people but I wouldn't fret. UNC is on an 8-2 ATS tear in their last 10 games and faced a -16.5 point line at Wake Forest, which they covered, before dismantling Duke. 

The Tar Heels are primed to take this one and your bet is solid here.

Ohio State Buckeyes -3.5 over #22 Iowa Hawkeyes  Value City Arena - 7pm EST

This Big 10 matchup is going to mean a lot more to the Buckeyes than the ranked Hawkeyes. If the Buckeyes can kick the legs out from under Iowa, they stand a chance to be in the tournament, but their destiny remains in their hands. Iowa still has something to lose being only one game behind Wisconsin in The Big Ten.

The Hawkeyes have some serious weight over Ohio in both the offense and defensive departments. Four of their players are averaging double digit scores and Garza and Cooke threw down 31 points and 12 rebounds combined in their last meeting with Ohio.

OSU will have to play aggressive man-to-man defense in order to shut down the lethal accuracy of Jordan Bohannon. They’ll have to force Iowa to drive to the basket and rely on Kaleb Wesson as their saving grace.

Ohio State is in a desperate situation being on the bubble and my heart says they’re going to take this but with Iowa facing Wisconsin coming up, my head says Iowa.

Take Ohio State to cover the spread and take them to win. This is the one that will shock everyone.

TCU Horned Frogs -3.5 at WVU Mountaineers WVU Coliseum - 7pm EST

The TCU Horned Frogs are coming off a huge win over Iowa on Saturday and are heading to take on the beleaguered West Virginia Mountaineers.

West Virginia can’t seem to shake their losing streak and a sixth is most likely in their future. The Mountaineers are 3-8-1 ATS at home in their last 12 home games, 1-4 in ATS in their last 5 vs Big 12 opponents and, 8-18-1 ATS on the season. They are shooting 34.5% from the field and are losing by an average of 19. 8 points. Yikes is an understatement.

The Frogs converted 43% of their field goal shots on Saturday but have been inconsistent on the road losing by an average of 7 points. The Horned Frogs are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games, 2-6 ATS in their last 8 vs. Big 12 and 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games overall. Yikes is, again, an understatement.

There is only one thing you really need to know about this one: The last time these two teams met, the Mountaineers lost by 31 points. With their cursed streak looming over them they will not pull this out  Back the Frogs for the win.

Lindsay Van Gyn has a masters degree in sports communications focusing on the NFL. She is a passionate writer who focuses on the cultural intersection of sports, statistics and fans.