Vaughn Dalzell breaks down how to to bet the No. 4 Tennessee Vols versus the No. 5 Duke Blue Devils in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Tennessee vs. Duke (-3.5): O/U 129.5
It's over for Tennessee.
We cashed Louisiana +11.5 and looked like for a few minutes that the Ragin Cajuns were going to pull off the upset over the Vols. However, Tennessee held on with its defense winning 58-55.
The Vols' offense struggled going 4-of-16 from three (25%) and 12-of-21 from the free-throw line (57%). Tennessee also turned the ball over 14 times, which will be a stat to key in on versus Duke.
The Blue Devils' defense has been superior over the last 6-7 weeks of the season. Since the start of February (13 games), Duke's defense ranks 8th in adjusted defensive efficiency and 17th in effective field goal percentage with even more impressive marks during the five-game winning streak in March (5th in EFF, 18th in FG%).
Duke's defense has averaged 6.8 steals per game in the last five and forced 9.2 turnover per game during that's stretch compared to 9.4 turnovers themselves. Only one opponent in the past five games have scored more than 69 points on Duke over the previous 10 games.
The two defenses match up well and we could be in store for an Under too or Team Total fade on Tennessee. However, the best bet is Duke to win this game and advance to the Sweet 16.
The Blue Devils are clearly the better team and much hotter compared to the Vols who are still trying to find offense without Zakai Zeigler leading the offense.
I played Duke's ML at -138 odds overnight and would go out to -155/-160 for this. I think the Blue Devils roll and matchup well with the Vols.
Pick: Duke ML (Risk 2u)
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