Weekend Hot Takes: Virginia will beat up Duke
Is it getting hot in here or is it just our takes? BetAmerica columnists Ashley Anderson, Jeremy Balan, Ryan Murphy and Thomas Tassone share their sizzling picks for this weekend’s sports action. Handle with caution!
Ashley: The Blue Devils seem a bit unsettled at the moment, especially on the road. Duke squeaked by North Carolina in overtime at Chapel Hill in early February, then fell by 22 points at North Carolina State and lost in double-overtime, 113-101, at Wake Forest. Meanwhile, Virginia is on a five-game win streak and steadily rising up the ACC standings. The Cavaliers will prey on a shaky Duke squad and hand the Blue Devils loss No. 6 of the season.
Jeremy: I’ve seen both of these teams play in person this month against USC. My impression of Washington was, why hasn’t this team won more? My feelings about Washington State? How did this team beat anybody? Yet Washington State won the first matchup in the Palouse, 79-67, behind 34 points from standout CJ Elleby. The problem this time around for the Cougars is both teams stink on the road (they’re both 1-7), and when Elleby doesn’t score, they don’t win, as the rest of the squad struggles to put the ball in the basket. The last six times Elleby has scored fewer than 20 points, the Cougars are 0-6, with an average losing margin of 14.8 points per game. Expect the Huskies to key on the only player who can beat them with their unique zone defense and athletic defenders, led by Isaiah Stewart (2.2 blocks per game). Washington also enters after one of its most impressive wins in months, an 87-52 thumping of Cal, which snapped a nine-game losing streak. The Huskies will win, and they will win big.
Ryan: I’m not about to say anything nasty about Toronto. The last thing I want is to get a mean-spirited tweet from Drake. The fact of the matter is that the Raptors are a rock solid team enjoying a nice run. They’ve rattled off wins in 17 of their last 19 games and have emerged as a genuine threat to the Bucks in the Eastern Conference. But there’s NO WAY they’re going to beat Charlotte by 14 points tonight. Toronto will be without the services of Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol, and Norman Powell and will likely be looking ahead to a far more contentious game with the Nuggets on Sunday. Toronto could still win tonight, but Charlotte will easily cover the spread after pulling out wins in four of their last six games.
Thomas: After getting embarrassed 3-0 in the Champions League to a clearly more dominant Bayern Munich side on Tuesday, Chelsea will look to bounce back in the Premier League as they travel to Bournemouth tomorrow morning. Look for manager Frank Lampard to refocus with his young squad as they hope to find their scoring boots against a deflated Bournemouth side struggling to stay above the relegation zone. I’m taking Chelsea -1 in an Asian Handicap as they cruise to an easy victory.