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Butler Duke Picks – Why The Blue Devils Will Be National Champs

Posted by on 4/5/2010 2:13:04 PM
NCAA Betting odds – Blue Devils -7.5 The Butler Bulldogs have been the surprise Cinderella of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. They are a No. 5 seed playing in a title game, which is fairly unusual given the historical data. Now they try to slay the biggest dragon of all as standing in front of them is the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils in the Championship Game. The Bulldogs may be playing at home but their magic ends on Monday Butler Bulldogs vs Duke Blue Devils Betting Odds: Blue Devils -7.5 What:NCAA Basketball Betting When: Monday, April 5th – 9:21 PM ET Where: Lukas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, IN Betting Odds: Duke -7.5 Key Stat: Blue Devils are 12-0 (SU) and 9-3 (ATS) in neutral court games this year How They Got Here: Both teams had a relatively easy path to the Championship Game, believe it or not. The Butler Bulldogs were clearly not expected to be here as a No. 5 seed but didn’t have to sweat too much on their route. After disposing of UTEP rather easily, the Bulldogs then faced No. 13 Murray State in the second round (instead of No. 4 Vanderbilt). Then the Bulldogs caught another break as the No. 1 Syracuse Orange were without forward Arinze Onuaku. Then in the regional final, the Bulldogs faced Kansas State, who had just come off a double-overtime game and was clearly fatigued. And finally, the Bulldogs caught Michigan State without their star, Kalin Lucas. The Bulldogs do deserve credit for getting to this point but they should also understand that they caught some big breaks along the way. Meanwhile, the Duke Blue Devils also didn’t have to sweat too much. The Blue Devils had an equally easy bracket to begin with but they were challenged. They faced California in the second round, who was a quality team this year. After no problems there, they handled Purdue easily, who was without Robbie Hummel. In the regional final, they were tested by a very good Baylor team but still advanced, and then again by No. 2 West Virginia in the Final Four, and still rolled. Strengths – NCAA Championship Picks Online betting cappers know that the Bulldogs live and die with defense. Their offense isn’t that strong as they live off of two players: Shelvin Mack and Gordon Hayward. But the reason why this team is where it is, is because of defense. For the Blue Devils, they can play a solid brand of defense if necessary but they are just a very good team with fundamentals. Their biggest strength is their back court with Nolan Smith, Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler, but they do have an inside-outside game this year thanks to Brian Zoubek. This will be a clash of good defense against strong offense. Weaknesses – NCAA Championship Picks Neither team has a ton of depth, but the Bulldogs lack of depth could be exposed a little bit more. The sportsbook odds didn’t come up right away as forward Matt Howard has a sprained ankle. He’s the Bulldogs third weapon and main man inside, which really renders them useless if he can’t provide an inside presence. Also, the Bulldogs have two main offensive weapons and Duke will likely clamp down on one. The Bulldogs will need someone else to step up. The Blue Devils don’t have a ton of weaknesses. Overall, some sports betting sharps would have said “if you can shutdown one of the three men in the back court, that would be all it takes…” but the Blue Devils have endured some bad shooting days already and still won. They also cut through West Virginia, who was a very tough defensive team already, so they know what they’ll be up against in this title game. Outlook & Pick The Blue Devils are just too sound to lose to Butler. The Bulldogs have had an easy time getting to this point – catching Syracuse and Michigan State with injuries, and Kansas State when they were tired – but the Blue Devils are just fine. The grouping of Scheyer, Singler and Smith will wreak havoc on the perimeter while center Brian Zoubek will be a load to handle inside. Expect a big game from him as the Blue Devils win in a route. NCAA Championship Picks: Blue Devils -7.5



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