NCAA Basketball Game Preview: Duke at Virginia

Feb 23, 2022

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Game: Duke Blue Devils @ Virginia Cavaliers  

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET 

Odds:  Blue Devils -5, Cavaliers +5 

Total: 130 

Duke has won four in a row and nine of its last ten games. The only loss came to tonight’s opponent – Virginia – roughly two weeks ago at home at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Virginia’s Reece Beekman hit a game-winning three-pointer to give the Cavaliers a 69-68 victory. It was the second straight one-point game between these two teams. The last three Duke-Virginia games have been decided by a total of four points. Will tonight be another close one? 

Duke is one of the top-scoring teams in the country averaging 80.1 points per game. In their current ten-game streak, they have scored at least 71 points eight times. That Blue Devils offense will once again test the defense of Virginia. The Cavaliers are among the best in the country allowing just 60.1 points per game (11th nationally).  

In Virginia’s last ten games – seven of which were wins – the Cavaliers have allowed 70 or more points just twice. In four of the remaining eight games, UVA held their opponent to fewer than 60 points. The Cavaliers have held Duke under 70 in eight of the last ten head-to-head meetings. 

Duke has not only won four straight; the Blue Devils have won five in a row on the road. In those five away games, Duke is 4-1 ATS and each of the five wins was by at least nine points. The only game in that stretch that the Blue Devils failed to cover was a 72-61 win over Boston College. Duke was a 13.5-point favorite. 

Virginia is trying to pad its resume to ensure it gets an eighth straight NCAA tournament invite. The Cavaliers are 17-10 overall. With five wins in their last six games, head coach Tony Bennett’s team is making a case for itself. Another win over Duke would go a long way in making sure the Cavaliers get into the tournament. 

Virginia’s only loss in its last six games was as a 4.5-point road underdog at rival Virginia Tech. That was on Feb. 14. The Cavaliers bounced right back with a 74-71 win over Miami as a 2-point road underdog. That victory gave Virginia its fifth cover in its last six games. Virginia is also 5-1 ATS in its last six games at home. 

What’s interesting is tonight’s total at 130. The total speaks volumes about Virginia’s defense, but it’s also why the Cavaliers have been trending Over recently. In Virginia’s last seven games, the total has gone Over five times. All seven of those totals were 128.5 or lower. 

Duke, with its offense, has seen the total go Over in four of its last six games. In the Duke-Virginia series, the total has gone Over in four of the last five games. The totals in those four games – 137, 131, 152, and 142 – were all higher than tonight’s total. In its last six wins over Duke, Virginia held the Blue Devils to 68 points or less.