Wake Forest forward Ody Oguama (33) fouls Duke forward Matthew Hurt (21) on a rebound attempt during an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Winston-Salem, N.C. (Andrew Dye/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP, Pool)
- No. 7 Virginia looks to rebound from rare loss as they visit the Duke Blue Devils as slim favorites
- The Cavaliers sit atop the ACC standings with a 10-2 record, while Duke has posted two straight wins to improve to 7-6
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and trends ahead of Saturday’s clash of ACC rivals at Cameron Indoor Stadium
The Virginia Cavaliers look to widen their lead atop the ACC conference standings on Saturday, when they visit the Duke Blue Devils as slim 1-point favorites. The Cavaliers are coming off a stunning 81-60 road loss to Florida State that saw their lead over the second-place Seminoles slip to just 1.5 games. The Blue Devils return home after going unbeaten SU and ATS on their recent two-game road trip, but are winless in their past two dates on home hardwood.
Here’s a look at all the odds and trends ahead of this ACC conference matchup, set for Saturday night at 8:00 pm Eastern, at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
#7 Virginia vs Duke Odds
|Virginia Cavaliers||-1 (-110)||OFF||O 131.5 (-110)|
|Duke Blue Devils||+1 (-110)||OFF||U 131.5 (-110)|
Odds taken at FanDuel on Feb. 19th.
Cavaliers on the Rebound
The Cavaliers’ low-scoring ways on the road continued in this week’s loss to the Seminoles as 2.5-point road underdogs. In addition to averaging just 59 points per game in its past three overall contests, No. 7 Virginia has also mustered more than 60 points just once in its past four road outings. That has contributed to a trend increasingly favoring the UNDER in totals betting, which has gone 4-2 in the Cavaliers’ past six outings.
Florida State dominates Virginia 81-60 and hands the Cavaliers their 2nd loss in the ACC 🏀
*Seminoles shoot 50% FG, only had two players in double figures, scores 20 pts off UVA’s 12 turnovers and only committed five turnovers
— Ron Carthen (@rcarthen) February 16, 2021
While Monday’s loss to FSU is arguably their worst defeat of the season, the Cavaliers remain a defensive force. The team limited opponents to just 55 points per game during the four-game win streak that was snapped this week, and has allowed more than 59 points just once in their previous nine road games. That has lifted the Cavaliers to sixth in the nation this season, with just 59.9 points per game allowed.
👏 That @UVAMensHoops packline defense 😍#GoHoos | #Wahoowa 🔶🔷 pic.twitter.com/l8Ev8miwbe
— Virginia Cavaliers (@VirginiaSports) February 14, 2021
Now looking to avoid losing consecutive games for the first time since January 2020, the Cavaliers also face a huge task to rewrite a losing narrative on the road against Duke. The club has picked up just one SU win in 19 road meetings with the Blue Devils since 1996, capped by a narrow 72-70 loss in their last visit two years ago. However, the traditionally low-scoring meetings have made Virginia a solid bet, with the Cavaliers covering in each of their past six visits to Durham.
2021 NCAA Men’s Tournament Championship Odds Tracker
Can Blue Devils Build on Recent Road Success?
While the Cavaliers aim to recover from just their fourth loss, the Blue Devils return to action on Saturday looking to win three in a row for just the second time this season. Duke has struggled to find its groove during a season disrupted by multiple pauses due to COVID-19. The team saw six games postponed or cancelled early in the campaign, and has failed to sustain momentum in 12 outings since, going 6-6 SU during that stretch.
Duke has now won back-to-back games by double figures.
Blue Devils’ final five games:
At Georgia Tech
At North Carolina
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) February 18, 2021
The Blue Devils have risen to the occasion against opponents they are supposed to beat, posting crushing wins by double-digit margins in this past week’s road dates with NC State and Wake Forest. However, they have been largely outclassed in recent dates with national ranked opponents, losing by an average margin of over 9 points in three losses this season.
Duke Enjoying Shared Success on Offense
The upside for the Blue Devils has been the shared success of the team’s offense. Leading scorer Matthew Hurt racked up 23 points per game in the team’s two recent victories, and also leads the Blue Devils with 6.5 rebounds per game. However, the team has also received steady offensive contributions from both sophomore forward Wendell Moore Jr. and freshman guard Jeremy Roach. Moore has scored 24 or more in two home dates this season, and Roach has averaged 16 points over his past two appearances on home hardwood.
.@HurtMatthew had it going in the win over Wake! 🔥#ACCMBB pic.twitter.com/E47vFfASTC
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) February 18, 2021
Now lagging four games back of the Cavaliers in the ACC standings with a 7-6 SU record, a key to success for Duke on Saturday will be a sustained team effort for a full 40 minutes. The Blue Devils have taken a halftime lead to the locker room in six of their past eight outings, but have watched it slip away in two of their past four, and cannot afford to fall behind early against a surly Cavaliers team looking to atone for this week’s loss.
Picks: Cavaliers -1 (-110); UNDER 131.5 (-110)
Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.