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Duke Blue Devils Betting– Devils Ready To Return To Final Four

Posted by Washington Tucker on 3/9/2010 2:57:02 PM

Duke has been a steady March Madness betting favorite during the 2010 campaign, but the Blue Devils are rolling into the ACC tournament with a full head of steam and a share of the regular-season crown. The Blue Devils are in the running for a No.1 seed, thanks to some great three-point shooting and some pesky defense, but they are dependent on a trio of players, and if those three are shut down, then Duke will be shut down.

  • Duke Blue Devils Betting Odds: +800 to win NCAA Championship
  • Duke has won three national titles, most recently in 2001
  • Blue Devils have raised their game on defense
  • Outside of Scheyer-Singler-Smith, Duke has no scoring

Duke Blue Devils Betting– They Will Go Far In The NCAA Tournament Because…

The Blue Devils ended the season on a tear by winning nine of their last 10, and while they can score with the best of them, Duke’s defense has been outstanding down the stretch. Since an 89-77 loss at Georgetown (that wasn’t even that close) on January 30th in which the Hoyas shot 71.7% from the floor, Duke buckled down on defense, especially on the perimeter, and only two of the last 10 opponents have scored more than 70 on the Blue Devils, who are second in the nation in three-point defense. The Blue Devils’ perimeter defenders, led by Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith, don’t force a lot of turnovers, but they stay in front of you and they’re always in your face, challenging shots. The Blue Devils get all over the glass, especially on the offensive end.

Duke Blue Devils Betting–They Exit Out Of The Tournament Early Because…

Duke can bury a team with their three-point shooting…or they can bury themselves. The Blue Devils made 38.9% of their long-distance attempts during the regular season, but go back to the Georgetown game, when they went 9-of-29. In a 71-67 loss at Georgia Tech on January 9th, Duke shot 6-of-28 from beyond the arc. The Blue Devils tend to fall in love with the three-point shot, which is always been the staple of a Mike Krzyzewski offense. Kyle Singler shoots 38.5% from long range, but you’d like to see him go inside a little more.

Duke Blue Devils Betting– Best Player

Scheyer is battling with Maryland’s Greivis Vazquez for the ACC Player of the Year award, and he was getting consideration for the national honor at one point in the season. Scheyer went from being a gunner to a more-than-capable distributor of the ball, and his on-the-ball defense improved a lot. He also assumed the role of leader easily after Gerald Henderson left, and he’s a lot tougher than people give him credit for.

Duke Blue Devils Betting– X-Factor

Duke’s lack of balance has been the biggest thorn in their NCAA basketball betting odds, and the Blue Devils are horribly reliant on the trio of Scheyer, Singler and Smith. The Blue Devils have size in the post with Brian Zoubek and Miles Plumee, but they’re basically out there for rebounding and defense. What happens if they’re asked to actually score because the backcourt is struggling or they’re being guarded closely? Outside of Scheyer, Singler and Smith, no Blue Devil scored more than Plumee’s 5.6 points.

Duke Blue Devils Betting– March Madness Prediction

With Krzyzewski at the helm, the Blue Devils will usually be a strong consideration in your sportsbook. We knew they could shoot, but Krzyzewski has these guys playing insane defensively. The Blue Devils seem pretty committed to defense now, so that should be fine throughout the tournament. However, the loss to Maryland to give them only a share of the ACC regular-season title provided a blueprint, if it wasn’t already know: harass the big three and you have a good shot at beating Duke. The trio were 7-of-23 from the three-point line, and the Terrapins used guards with some size to get into Scheyer, Singler and Smith. If the Blue Devils run into a similar team, they’ll be in trouble

Pick: Lose In Elite Eight

For more sports betting tips in college hoops, check out Washington in the Betting Edge at BetOnline daily.

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