The Virginia Cavaliers (20-7, 12-5 ACC) welcome the No. 7 Duke Blue Devils (23-5, 13-4 ACC) to John Paul Jones Arena. The Cavaliers will try to prolong their five-game winning streak. Action begins at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 29, 2020, and it can be seen on ESPN.
Duke Blue Devils vs. Virginia Cavaliers Betting Preview
In the Blue Devils’ last game, they lost to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 113-101. Duke’s Tre Jones had 24 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in the game. Wake Forest did an excellent job of getting to and converting from the free throw line (37-50; 74.0 percent). Duke, on the other hand, held the Demon Deacons to an offensive rebounding percentage of 23.7 (below their season average of 28.7).
The Cavaliers hope to maintain momentum after edging the Virginia Tech Hokies in their last outing, 56-53. Braxton Key played well for Virginia, contributing 10 points and 11 rebounds. Virginia dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had an offensive rebounding percentage of 26.9 (above their season average of 26.9) and a free throw rate of 0.163 (matching their season average). For those same stats, Virginia Tech put up marks of 12.9 and 0.118, respectively.
Virginia might struggle to score as they battle against one of the NCAA’s best defenses. Duke ranks 19th in defensive efficiency, while the Cavaliers rank 326th in offensive efficiency. It will also be a tale of two styles as the up-and-down Blue Devils rank 23rd in possessions per game, while the more half-court oriented Cavaliers rank 352nd.
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams, after the Blue Devils won both contests last season. In the last contest, Duke won 81-71. Duke’s free throw rate was their biggest advantage over Virginia. The Blue Devils had a rate of 0.356, while the Cavaliers posted a mark of 0.083.
Duke Blue Devils vs. Virginia Cavaliers Free Prediction
Pick: SU Winner – Virginia, ATS Winner – Virginia, O/U – Under
The Blue Devils rank eighth in three pointers allowed per game (16.4) while the Cavaliers rank 169th (22.0).
Virginia ranks 25th in blocks allowed per game (2.5) while Duke ranks 146th (3.7).
Duke ranks 19th in assists per game (15.8) while Virginia ranks 220th (11.7).
The Blue Devils rank 15th in rebounds per game (40.3) while the Cavaliers rank 196th (34.2).
Duke ranks 23rd in steals per game (8.4) while Virginia ranks 202nd (5.3).
The Cavaliers’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 4.4, down from 4.8 for the season.
During their last five games, the Blue Devils have scored an average of 83.8 points per game (0.6 above their season average) and allowed an average of 78.0 points per game (9.8 above their season average).