Virginia Tech Hokies vs Duke Blue Devils Pick

March 29, 9:39 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Duke -7

ACC rivals clash for the second time this season when Duke meets Virginia Tech in an NCAA tournament East regional semifinal Friday night in Washington, DC (9:39 pm ET, CBS). The Blue Devils are favored by a touchdown for this one, but the Hokies just upset Duke a month ago. Which way are we going with our free NCAA tournament pick?

The Line

NCAA tournament betting odds opened Duke at -8 for this Sweet 16 match-up, with an over/under of 145. Early betting action then dipped that spread to -7.

Bettors thinking V-Tech might pull another upset here could get around +275 on the college basketball betting money line.

Hokies-Blue Devils Betting Preview

No. 4 seed Virginia Tech (26-8 SU, 17-15 ATS) finished 12-6 in ACC play this season, then won one game in the ACC tournament before falling to fellow Sweet 16'er Florida State in overtime in the semifinals. V-Tech then opened this NCAA tournament with a 66-52 victory over No. 13 seed St. Louis, then defeated No. 12 seed Liberty 67-58 last Sunday to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1967.

The Hokies jumped out to an early double-digit lead on the Billikins last Friday and hung on for the cover as 10-point favorites. They then used a 16-3 rally midway through the second half to take control against the Flames, although they came up one point short of pushing the spread at -10.

So Virginia Tech is 2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS since the return of PG Justin Robinson, and 19-3 SU, 12-9-1 ATS this season with him overall.

No. 1 seed Duke (31-5 SU, 18-17 ATS) finished 14-4 in ACC play but ended the season with C Zion Williamson injured and out. Williamson then returned for the ACC tournament, and the Blue Devils won three games in three days to claim the title. Duke then opened this NCAA tournament with an 85-62 victory over No. 16 seed North Dakota State, then rallied late to survive No. 9 seed Central Florida 77-76 to reach the Sweet 16 for the second season in a row.

The Blue Devils only led the Bison by four points at the half last Friday, pulled away from there but came up short ATS at -27. Duke then trailed the Knights Sunday 74-70 with two minutes to go but ended the game with a 7-2 run. Still, the Blue Devils came up well short of covering at -13.

So Duke is 5-0 SU but only 1-3-1 ATS since Williamson returned, 28-3 SU, 16-14 ATS with him overall.

NCAA Tournament Betting Trends

  • Virginia Tech is 8-6 SU, 7-7 ATS this season against this NCAA tournament field.
  • The Hokies are also only 2-5 ATS this season as underdogs.
  • Duke is 15-5 SU but only 7-13 ATS this season against teams that made this Dance.
  • The Blue Devils are also just 3-6 ATS this season when favored by single digits, thanks to several close victories in which they didn't cover.

Hokies-Dukies Recent History

Virginia Tech is 3-1 both SU and ATS over the last four meetings with Duke, including a 77-72 decision a month ago. But both V-Tech's Robinson and Duke's Williamson missed that game with injuries, so that outcome doesn't necessarily give us a good read on Friday's game.

Totals Report

The totals are split 16-16 in Hokies games this season, which are averaging 135 total points.

The unders are a lopsided 24-10 in Blue Devils games this season, even though they're averaging 151 points. Obviously, Duke has been playing against some inflated totals this season.

Virginia Tech vs Duke Prediction 03/29/2019

Duke is lucky to be here, but sometimes a good scare is good for a team. And last month's loss to Virginia Tech might provide some added motivation.

Free Pick: 
We like the Blue Devils -7