Duke Blue Devils (27-8) vs. Tennessee Volunteers (24-10)
Game Info: Saturday, March 18, 2022 at 2:40 p.m. EST (Amway Center)
Betting Odds: Duke (-3) / Over/Under (128)
Pick: Tennessee (ML)
Let's bring in the Second Round of March Madness with a battle between two tournament main stays when the Duke Blue Devils face off against the Tennessee Volunteers inside of the Amway Center.
Duke has played up to their talent level over the past month. They are 10-0 SU (7-3 ATS) in their last 10 games played and have completely turned their season on its head in the process. In the opening round on Thursday night, they were able to silence the 30-win Oral Roberts squad that had many viewers turning their heads as they clinched their March Madness birth. In that game, veteran guard, Jeremy Roach, had one of his best games of the year, putting in 23 points. As they enter Saturday's clash against the Vols, his veteran presence will play a big role in if they can have success throughout the game. In what will surely be one of the best defenses that they have faced all season, time will tell if the Duke Blue Devils can continue on their hot run and take down the Volunteers to advance into the Sweet-16.
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Tennessee has been a bit underwhelming after a scorching start to begin the season. In saying that though, they were still able to squeak out a win versus a feisty LA Lafayette squad late on Thursday night. They are not going to put up 80+ points and kill you on the offensive end on any given night, but they will make your life a nightmare when defending their own hoop. All season long they have been inside of the top-5 in the country in defensive efficiency and have not slowed up at all in the past month. Still, it does not matter how effective you are on the defensive side of the ball, you must be able to elevate your game in March to a different level if you want to survive and advance. In their opening round, Santiago Vescovi was not able to get it going, only scoring 3 points. Being one of their oldest players that gets meaningful minutes in the rotation, Vescovi will need to get it going from deep early and often to keep the Volunteers in the game.
Betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- Duke is 6-12 ATS when playing on equal rest as the opposing squad
- The Blue Devils are 3-5 ATS when playing against ranked opponents
- The under is 9-5 when the Vols are playing against non-Conference teams
This should be one of the best games of the day. In a battle between the orange and blue, this game will certainly be decided by a few key plays down the stretch. This is where the Volunteers' experience will take over as many of their pivotal players have been in this moment before. On the flip side, the Blue Devils start 4 freshmen. I sense that the moment will be too big for them and the Volunteers will take home the win because of that. Give me the Vols by a few buckets!
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