Duke opened as a seven-point favorite at top March Madness sportsbooks in what is projected to be a high-scoring game with the early total set at 144.5 points. Selection Sunday did not take it easy on rookie head coach Jon Scheyer and the Duke Blue Devils (26-8 SU, 15-19 ATS).
They are a No. 5 seed in spite of being one of the hottest programs right now. Duke has been winning nine straight games in a row as they head into the NCAA Tournament. That includes the ACC championship game over Virginia.
They will be facing the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (30-4, 13-16-1), who won the Summit League championship and have been on a rather impressive streak themselves. This will mark the first matchup ever between these schools.
Oral Roberts Golden Eagles vs. Duke Blue Devils Odds by BetOnline
|Oral Roberts||+6½ (-110)||146 (-110)||+235|
|Duke||-6½ (-110)||146 (-110)||-290|
Betting Duke Blue Devils
Don’t be sleeping on the Blue Devils. Granted, Coach K is no longer at the helm, but Duke still has the best winning percentage in the history of the tournament (.752) with a record of 118 wins and 39 losses.
Many of the best online sportsbooks experts were surprised to see them drop to a No. 5 seed. They have been battling injuries all season long, but when they were fully healthy, they went 17-1. Freshman Kyle Filipowski was a freak down the stretch.
He averaged almost 20 points per game in the ACC tournament en route to being named the MVP. In the meantime, guard Jeremy Roach looks as if he has iced water running through his veins. He is coming off a career-best 23 points in that win against the Cavaliers.
Scheyer has been raving about his team’s defensive prowess after their ACC championship win against Virginia. It is something that he has been pushing all season. And this will surely be a challenge as they are likely going to have their hands full with Abmas.
Scheyer and his staff are going to try to find the pattern that saw Houston hold the senior to only three points back in the month of November. The Blue Devils are also going to need Filipowski to keep his solid play of recently. If those two things were to happen, the top sportsbooks odds are good that we will see Duke score its ticket to the Round of 32.
Betting Oral Roberts Golden Eagles
In the same way as it will be Duke’s game plan to slow down the Abmas scoring machine, the Golden Eagles are going to need him to be the guy he has been all season long. Only 6 players in the country have scored more points per game than he has.
Oral Roberts will be thrilled to play a quick-paced shootout with Duke in hopes of outscoring the Blue Devils. Connor Vanover will also be crucial to their success. If the Eagles manage to keep this game tight, Vanover could be the defensive difference-maker down the line.
Two years removed from their Cinderella run to the Sweet 16 as the No. 15 seed, the Golden Eagles are looking to make another statement. As of this writing they have the longest winning streak in NCAA basketball at seventeen (17) games.
Their last loss came back in early January versus New Mexico. They started the season 3-3 and they have now won 27 of their past 28 games. The Eagles own the third-highest scoring offense in the nation.
They are led by senior guard Max Abmas. He averages more than 22 points per game. Two other players are averaging double digits in points. Those two players are Connor Vanover (12.9) and Issac McBride (11.9).
Oral Roberts Golden Eagles vs.Duke Blue Devils Pick
We have seen the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles make a good run in the tournament a couple of years back. Abmas has more experience than he did at that time. The issue here is that there is time to come up with a game plan that will force someone other than Abmas to beat you, and that is where Oral Roberts may have problems.
Duke has a deep roster of healthy players and they are playing the best basketball of the season. Unless someone else steps up for the Golden Eagles, Duke could take off in the second half. We will lay the reasonable chalk with the Duke Blue Devils.
The Golden Eagles are 9-2 ATS in their past 11 neutral site games and 2-7 ATS in their past 9 games overall. The Blue Devils are 4-0 ATS in their past 4 neutral site games.