Best Virginia vs. Duke Betting Picks for Saturday, Mar. 2

The Blue Devils take on one of the best defensive teams in the country on Saturday. Can they score enough against Virginia?
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Duke, 13-4 in conference play, is continuing its ACC regular-season championship chase. Having won five straight at home, the Blue Devils have the momentum as they take on one of the toughest defensive units in the nation on Saturday.

Virginia has underwhelmed over the last few weeks, losing three out of their five games, and winning their two games with a combined margin of six. Duke is heavily favored against the Cavaliers but it's never that easy against Tony Bennett's disciplined side.

Virginia vs. Duke Odds, Spread, and Total

Virginia vs. Duke Best Bet and Prediction

As is always the case in Virginia games, this will likely turn into a rock fight. Virginia failed to crack 50 points in three of their last four games and they have been an awful offensive team all season. They don't make many mistakes or turn the ball over, but the snail's pace they play in makes it very difficult for them to mount any comebacks or score points in a pinch.

This was the case when the last time these two teams matched up. In the ACC Tournament final last season, Duke got out to a 24-17 halftime lead and maintained it the whole game as Virginia struggled to score, ending in a 59-49 victory for the Blue Devils.

That will be the key on Saturday as well. Starting the game strong will set the tone for the rest of the forty minutes. Comebacks are very rare in Virginia games as they like to use up the entire shot clock and turn it into a possession battle.

Duke has been scoring at will in the recent stretch, scoring over 75 points in each of their last six games. That is unlikely to happen against Virginia. However, at the end of the day, the Blue Devils have way more offensive firepower than Virginia and that will be the deciding factor.

Yet, 9.5 is a big number to cover. Even though I expect a Duke win, I'm not very confident in a double-digit victory. Taking the under in Virginia games is always a good bet.

My pick: Under 124.5

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Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.