Duke Blue Devils Odds to Win the 2015 NCAA Tournament with Picks and Predictions
by George Monroy - 2/26/2015
Jahlil Okafor, the Duke Blue Devil freshman, has been nothing short of dominant this year, even though a recent ankle injury will limit him during the final weeks of the season. Duke is in position to grab a No. 1 seed heading into the NCAA Tournament but still must face North Carolina to end the regular season and may still have to play No. 2 Virginia in the ACC tournament. Coach Mike Krzyzewski, however, believes that the squad can win a national title no matter what position they end up in once the tournament begins.
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Duke has been shorthanded over the last few weeks and at certain points had only seven healthy players available to scrimmage. As a result, Coach K "had to really tone down the practices," which could end up benefiting the team as the mental and physical grind of a single-elimination tournament wears on during March. Let's take a closer look at Duke's 2015 national title odds with predictions and analysis.
Duke Blue Devils 2015 National Title Storylines
Okafor suffered an ankle injury during a recent victory over North Carolina on Feb. 18 and as a result had to miss the team's next matchup against Clemson, which ended up being a 22-point blowout win. The young forward was out of commission for a week but returned with a massive 30-point, nine-rebound performance in a close, overtime victory against Virginia Tech. Senior guard Quinn Cook added another 26 points during the victory and reminded everyone in the nation that Duke probably has the best one-two punch in all of college basketball.
The Blue Devils have a roster that includes four double-digit scorers and will need that balance if they plan on finishing off the year with only three losses. The team still has games against Syracuse, Wake Forest and No. 15 North Carolina to close out the regular season. Okafor is not expected to miss any more time because of his ankle, but the injury will continue to be monitored by the team.
Duke Blue Devils 2015 Odds to Win the NCAA Tournament
Duke is currently ranked No. 4 in the AP rankings but is receiving the third-best national title odds at +1200, according to Sportsbook.ag. Duke owns 15 Final Four appearances and last won the national title in 2010. The team has not performed well against the spread this season with a mediocre 14-13-1 overall ATS mark and 6-7-1 home ATS record. Duke, however, has been spectacular against the "over" and has gone above its posted total in 17 of 26 matchups this year.
Duke Blue Devils 2015 National Title Odds and Predictions
Duke is always a national title contender and good for at least a Sweet 16 berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Devils have a star player in Okafor to match the other superstars of the tournament, but they also go four or five players deep and have an emerging star in Cook. If you were looking to bet on the most complete team, Duke might be the way to go. If Kentucky is the most talented, then the Blue Devils certainly have the most chemistry. Sometimes wagering on NCAA national title odds can be a shot in the dark, and taking Duke at +1200 is as solid of a bet as any.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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