While the Cavaliers deserve some credit for beating the teams that they are supposed to beat ( at least at home in ACC play ), they have had it relatively easy up until now on the CBB lines at home as their two best wins were against North Carolina early in conference play before the Heels started playing better and to NC State, which has been a bust on the road all year.
Now Duke has stubbed it toe three times on the ACC road including a bad loss at Maryland, but we actually feel that recent loss to the Terrapins will help keep the Blue Devils focused here.
While we have no doubt that Virginia will bring its CBB lines “A” game here, Duke will too with the Terps’ loss still fresh in its mind, so what this contest comes down to is that the Blue Devils are simply the better team when both teams are at their best and, perhaps most importantly, this should be one of the few times that Duke will not be an overlay due to Virginia’s excellent home form.
Duke is ranked sixth overall on the Pomeroy Ratings right now, which would make the Blue Devils a two-seed if that holds up, but they obviously have higher aspirations and can ill afford another loss if they want to earn a one-seed. They are very well-balanced ranking fifth in the country in offensive efficiency and 22nd in defensive efficiency, and their only real weakness is rebounding.
Thus, the Blue Devils do not get many second chance opportunities, so it is a good thing that they rank 18th in effective field goal percentage and a fantastic third in three-point shooting at 41.6 percent!
The Cavaliers are 7-0 on the CBB lines at home during conference play while winning those games by an average of 18.4 points, and they have won 15 straight home games overall since losing their second home game of the season to a Delaware team ranked 165th on the Pomeroy Ratings.
Since nipping NC State by three points, the last three Virginia home wins have been by 37 points over 95th ranked Clemson, 18 points over 158th ranked Virginia Tech and 28 points over 93rd ranked Georgia Tech. While those winning margins are impressive, the competition was not and besides the home loss to Delaware, Virginia also lost in the road to 139th ranked George Mason and 267th ranked Old Dominion.
Free Play: We simply feel that it is time for Virginia to get a CBB lines realty check, as this team is not nearly as good as the home record would lead you to believe. This game will be the Cavaliers’ acid test, but unfortunately we foresee Duke coming away with a handy road win as it continues to seek a top seed.
Give the Points with the Duke Blue Devils on Thursday