College Basketball ACC Championship Betting Picks: #7 Duke Blue Devils vs #6 Virginia Cavaliers

2014 ACC Tournament – Championship Game
Greensboro Coliseum – Greensboro, North Carolina

#3 Duke Blue Devils vs #1 Virginia Cavaliers
Sunday, March 16, 2014, 1:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Duke -1
Current Line: Duke -1
Opening Total: 129
Current Total: 128
Opening Money Line: Duke -115 / Virginia -105
Current Money Line: Duke -115 / Virginia -105 

Duke is a slight favorite over Virginia in the ACC Championship game Sunday.

Duke is a slight favorite over Virginia in the ACC Championship game Sunday.

The 26-7 Duke Blue Devils and 27-6 Virginia Cavaliers meet for the ACC Championship Sunday in Greensboro. There is even more at stake as the winner will still have a shot at the last #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament especially if Michigan loses to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship later in the day. Louisville could also be in the mix after beating Connecticut in last night’s AAC championship game.

Virginia won the ACC regular season title outright with a 16-2 record. It was the first outright regular season title for the Cavaliers since 1981. The Cavaliers are also looking for their second ACC tournament title and first since 1976. Virginia beat #9 seed Florida State 64-51 in the quarterfinals Friday and beat #5 seed Pittsburgh 51-48 in yesterday’s semifinal.

Duke went 13-5 in conference and tied for third with North Carolina. The Blue Devils are the #3 seed in the ACC tournament because of the tiebreaker. Duke beat #6 seed Clemson 63-62 in the quarterfinals and then beat #7 North Carolina State 75-67 in the semifinals. Duke is looking for their 20th ACC tournament title, but they haven’t won it since 2011.

Duke leads the series against Virginia 116-49, including 15-3 all-time in the ACC tournament. Duke has won 9 of the last 10 against Virginia, including 69-65 January 13 in Durham. It was the only regular season meeting between the teams.

Duke is coached by Mike Krzyzewski. Duke has losses to Kansas in Chicago, Arizona in Madison Square Garden, at Notre Dame, at Clemson, at Syracuse, at North Carolina, and at Wake Forest. The Blue Devils have won 3 straight games. Duke has key wins over Davidson, Florida Atlantic, East Carolina, Vermont, Alabama at MSG, Michigan, UCLA in New York, Georgia Tech, Virginia, NC State, at Miami, Florida State, at Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Boston College, Maryland, at Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Virginia Tech and North Carolina. The Blue Devils are 18-14 -1 ATS and the total is 14-18 this season.

Duke is outscoring teams 79-67 this season. The Blue Devils are #27 in scoring nationally. Duke is shooting 46.6% from the field and 39.1% from 3 point range. The Blue Devils are #24 nationally in 3 point shooting. Duke is shooting 72.7% from the free throw line. Blue Devil opponents are shooting 45.4% from the field and 30.2% from 3 point range. Duke is #20 nationally in three point defense. The Blue Devils average 34.9 rebounds per game and opponents average 30.4 rebounds per game. Duke averages 14.6 assists, 9.6 turnovers, 7 steals and 3.1 blocks per game. Opponents average 10.8 assists, 12.4 turnovers, 5.1 steals and 3.4 blocks per game.

Freshman forward Jabari Parker averages 19.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1 steal, and 1.3 blocks per game. He is projected to be a high lottery pick in the NBA draft. Forward Rodney Hood averages 16.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. Guard Quinn Cook averages 11.5 points, 2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Guard Andre Dawkins averages 8.2 points and 1.4 rebounds per game. Guard Rasheed Sulaimon averages 9.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. Forward Amile Jefferson averages 6.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. Tyler Thornton, Matt Jones, and Josh Hairston will also get time in the rotation.

Virginia is coached by Tony Bennett. The Cavaliers have losses to VCU, Wisconsin, at Green Bay, at Tennessee, at Duke and at Maryland. Virginia has key wins over James Madison, Davidson in Charlotte, SMU & Missouri State in a tournament in Corpus Christi, TX, Northern Iowa, Florida State twice, Wake Forest, at NC State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech twice, Notre Dame twice, at Pittsburgh, Boston College, at Georgia Tech, Maryland, at Clemson, Miami and Syracuse. Virginia is 17-10-2 ATS and the total is 12-15 this season.

Virginia is outscoring teams 66-55 this season. The Cavaliers are #1 in points allowed nationally and #295 out of 351 teams in scoring. Virginia is shooting 45.3% from the field and 36.3% from 3 point range. The Cavs are #280 in free throw shooting making just 66.5% from the line. Opponents are shooting  38.5% from the field and 31.3% from 3 point range. The Cavaliers are #9 nationally in field goal defense and #38 in three point defense. Virginia averages 35.5 rebounds a game and opponents average 25.8. The Cavaliers are #1 in rebounds allowed nationally.  Virginia averages 13.1 assists, 11 turnovers, 6.3 steals and 4 blocks per game. Opponents average 9.9 assists, 12.5 turnovers, 5.5 steals and 3.6 blocks per game.

Guard Malcolm Brogdon averages 12.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Guard Joe Harris averages 11.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1 steal per game. Guard Justin Anderson averages 8.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Forward Anthony Gill averages 8.3 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Forward/center Mike Tobey averages 6.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. Forward Akil Mitchell averages 7 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1 steal per game. Guard London Perrantes averages 5.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Forward Darion Atkins averages 3.2 points and 2.4 rebounds per game.

Duke is -15-1 ATS a favorite, 0-5 after a straight up win, 1-5-1 overall, 1-4-1 against teams with winning records, and 1-4-1 as a favorite of between 0.5-6.5 points.

Virginia is 4-0 ATS as an underdog, 3-1-1 after a straight up win and in neutral site games, 15-5-2 overall, 13-2-2 against teams with winning records, and 1-4 as a neutral site underdog. The Cavaliers have covered 3 straight games against the Blue Devils.

This games comes down to Virginia’s great defense and Duke’s explosive perimeter offense. If Duke hit’s their 3′s they are almost impossible to beat by any team, especially against a team that struggles to score sometimes like Virginia does. I like the Cavaliers to clamp down defensively and win the ACC tournament.

 

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