Duke Blue Devils Odds to Win 2014 NCAA Tournament with Picks and Predictions
by George Monroy - 3/14/2014
The Duke Blue Devils finished the college basketball regular season as the No. 7 team in the AP Top 25 and third in the ACC standings behind Virginia and Syracuse, even though they were a ranked higher than either squad. Duke lost five conference games, including a matchup against Wake Forest late in the season that pushed the team down the AP rankings from the fourth to the seventh spot.
The oddsmakers, however, believe Duke is still one of the few teams that should be considered as legitimate national title favorites heading into the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Devils are tied for the fourth-best title odds with two other teams and are probably looking at a Top 2 regional seed in next week's tournament. Let's take a closer look at Dukes 2014 NCAA national title odds with picks, analysis and predictions.
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Duke Blue Devils 2014 NCAA Tournament Story Lines
Duke does not start its ACC tournament play tonight when it faces Clemson. The squad earned the third seed in the tournament and will be looking to build off of Jabari Parker's fantastic performance during the final game of the regular season against rival North Carolina. Parker scored 31 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field and also grabbed a whopping 11 rebounds.
Parker's performance helped the Blue Devils add another undefeated home season to their resume, and it was the 18th time in the school's history that the team did not lose a game at home. Rodney Hood added 24 points for Duke as the squad also out-rebounded North Carolina by 14 boards throughout the matchup. Parker was also named to the first team All-American squad earlier in the week and became the first Duke freshman to earn the honor.
Duke Blue Devils 2014 NCAA Tournament Odds and Key Trends
Duke is currently receiving +1000 odds at Sportsbook.ag and has been grouped with Michigan State and Wichita State as the second-tier favorites with the same exact odds. Duke ended the regular season with an 18-12-1 overall ATS record and 14-6 totals record. The squad, however, is on a bit of an ATS drought over last few games and is 1-3-1 in its last five matchups and 5-4-1 during its last 10 overall games. Duke is also 2-3 in its last five games as a double-digit favorite.
The Blue Devils are one of the highest-scoring teams in the nation and are ranked 23rd in points with 79.8 per game and 22nd in 3-point shooting with a 39.3 percent average. On defense the squad defends the perimeter and allows its opponents to shoot only 31 percent from beyond the arc, which is the 33 rd-best mark in the nation. Duke also allows only 67.1 points per game, which is ranked 94th.
Duke Odds to Win the 2014 NCAA Tournament Predictions
Duke will be entering the NCAA Tournament with star power as Parker and Hood lead the way for the team. In basketball, more so than any other sport, star players can impact and win a game with their talent alone. And the Blue Devils will have no shortage of talent. The squad plays excellent defense, but its calling card is a fast-paced and efficient offense that incorporate ball movement and team play.
Parker and Hood are two players that can take over a game with speed and excellent shooting from the field-outside of the top four or five teams, the rest of the nation cannot compete with that type of offensive talent. Duke's biggest advantage might be on the bench, however, as coach Mike Krzyzewski is a calm and soothing presence with years of NCAA Tournament experience. Expect the team to make a deep run-Sweet 16 or better-and provide excellent value at +1000 odds.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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