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Duke vs. Virginia Tech - 3/29/19 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Virginia Tech at Duke
Date & Time Friday March 29, 2019, 9:39 PM (EDT)
Capital One Arena
Washington, DC
The Line
Duke Blue Devils -7.5 -- O/U: 144.5
TV Channel
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Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Duke Blue Devils and the Virginia Tech Hokies meet in an all-ACC NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 matchup in college basketball action from the Capital One Arena on Friday.

The Virginia Tech Hokies come into the Sweet 16 after punching their ticket with a 67-58 win over Liberty in the second round. Kerry Blackshear Jr. led the Hokies with 19 points along with a team-high 8 rebounds while Ahmed Hill had 14 points with 3 threes and Justin Robinson added 13 points. Ty Outlaw chipped in 10 points with 6 rebounds to finish off the group of double-digit scorers for Virginia Tech in the win while Nickeil Alexander-Walker added 6 points and a team-high 5 assists. Alexander-Walker still leads Virginia Tech in scoring and assists with 16.4 points and 3.9 assists per game while Blackshear Jr. leads the Hokies on the glass with 7.3 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Virginia Tech is averaging 73.6 points per game on 47.3% shooting from the field, 39.5% from behind the arc and 76% from the foul line this season. The Hokies can be vvery tough defensively as well, sitting 9th in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 61.7 points per game this season.

The Duke Blue Devils will look to keep their momentum going after narrowly escaping with a 77-76 win over UCF in the second round in their last outing. Zion Williamson led the Blue Devils with 32 points on 12 of 24 shooting with 3 threes and team-highs of 11 rebounds and 4 assists while RJ Barrett added 16 points along with 8 boards and 4 assists of his own. Cam Reddish had 13 points with 3 threes and Tre Jones had 11 points with 4 assists to finish off the scoring in double-digits for Duke in the win. Javin DeLaurier added 8 rebounds, 3 steals and a pair of blocks as well in the victory. Barrett leads Duke in scoring with an average of 22.8 points per game while Williamson leads the Blue Devils in rebounding with 8.8 rebounds per game and Jones leads the Dukies in assists with 5.3 assists per game this season. As a team, Duke is averaging the 9th-highest scoring offense in the country, scoring 83.4 points per game on 47.7% shooting from the field, 30.7% from behind the arc and 68.7% from the foul line this season.

Virginia Tech is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 NCAA tournament games and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 games overall. Duke is 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 NCAA tournament games while the under is 9-3 in their last 12 games against a team with a winning record. Virginia Tech is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings between these two teams.

I’m a bit tempted to side with Virginia Tech and the points, considering that the Hokies have won the last two meetings against Duke outright, including a 5-point win a month ago combined with the fact that UCF nearly was in Duke’s spot right now if that last second shot fell for the Knights. However, Virginia Tech’s wins over Duke came at home, and the reason that the Blue Devils struggled against UCF is because UCF had a huge size advantage inside with 7-foot-6 Tacko Fall on the inside, a size advantage that Virginia Tech doesn’t have here. I think Duke will be looking to make a statement here and will do so by putting out a double-digit win, covering this mid-range line in the process.

Duke -7.5

Chris has been a sports fan from when he was old enough to pick up a basketball and was a standout offensive lineman throughout high school and college. Chris uses that same instinct, determination and drive to analyze trends and statistics to find and produce winners on a consistent basis. Chris has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2016 and covers a wide array of sports from college and pro football, college basketball, hockey and baseball.

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