The Duke Blue Devils are coming off a victory in the ACC tournament in Brooklyn, but that was not enough to get them shifted off the so-called two-line as far as NCAA Tournament participants were concerned. But this does not mean a whole lot when it comes the first round of play, so they are big favorites at going in against the Troy Trojans, champions of the Sun Belt Conference, in the East Regional. The Game Is set to begin at 7:20 PM ET at the Bonn Secours Arena in Greenville, SC, and VietBet customers will have the opportunity to place wagers during the game with the help of Live Betting Ultra.
March Madness Odds – Duke vs Troy:
In the March Madness Betting Odds posted on this game by the folks at VietBet, Duke is a sizable favorite:
Duke Blue Devils -20.5
Troy Trojans +20.5
Over 153.5 points -110
Under 153.5 points -110
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March Madness Odds for Duke vs Troy – CJ’s Take:
At least Duke gets to stay close to home; in that regard they have always had pretty good luck with the selection committee. Naturally, there are a lot of fans across the country who point to a “Duke bias” and maybe some of that is true, but nonetheless, they will have kind of a “gimme” with this first one, and they go into this game with a team that is a little bit different than some of the squads Coach K is brought to the table in the past. For one thing, they are not as anxious as they have been in recent years to set a fast pace, and they don’t shoot three-pointers as often.
Troy is a team that demonstrated it can win even if it doesn’t make the three-pointer, and they really bricked it against Texas State in the Sun Belt title game, making only one out of 17 from long-range.
Troy doesn’t figure to have a whole lot more success with shots from downtown, as the best part of Duke’s defense is its ability to defend the perimeter. The Blue Devils have allowed only 29.5% from three-point territory, and that is fourth best in the nation. Consequently, teams have attempted three-pointers on only 28% of their shots against them. So it is going to be incumbent upon Troy to at least get a little something going inside the arc. Can they do it?
The main guy Duke will have to concentrate on stopping is Jordan Bernardo, the 6-6 forward who is probably this team’s best offensive rebounder. He gets most of his support from guard Wesley Person, who averaged 14.8 points, and Jeremy Holloman has been an accurate three-point shooter, nailing 43% of his tries.
Duke finally has its talent together, and that includes freshman Jayson Tatum, one of the more impressive players in the nation, who will undoubtedly be a first-round NBA draft choice and go high. The 6-8 freshman averaged 16 points per game, but he wasn’t not the leading scorer for this squad. That distinction goes to 6-6 guard Luke Kinnard, who registered 20.1 points per contest. Other freshman like Frank Jackson, Harry Giles and Marques Bolden help round out a tremendous rotation, while Amile Jefferson, the top rebounder 8.5 per game, is the veteran element that really holds this team together.
VietBet patrons know that the guy who sometimes pulls things apart is Grayson Allen, whose temper sometimes gets the best of him. He is going to have to curtail that somehow, especially his penchant for tripping people, for Duke to make a long run in this tourney.
Keep in mind that Troy had 14 losses on the season and was no higher than the #6 seed in their own Sun Belt conference tournament.Their non-conference schedule did not demand that they step up all that often, but they were very competitive when traveling West to face the “other” Trojans, those from USC, as they lost by only five points despite hitting only 38.5% of their two-point shots. Can they stay close in this one? Well, that might depend on how charitable Duke wants to be, but this seems like a hefty impost.
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