Just one team from the Atlantic Coast Conference can be found in the two conventional polls, and the Duke Blue Devils put their No. 2 ranking on the line on Wednesday’s sports betting card when they host the Virginia Tech Hokies.
Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Duke Blue Devils
Wednesday, December 22, 2021 – 09:00 PM EST at Cameron Indoor Stadium
We certainly didn’t witness the usual fine play from the ACC during the non-conference portion of the schedule, with the league combining for a rather puny 4-16 record on the NCAAB scores against top 25 clubs in the weekly AP polls since the season started. Duke did its job as the Blue Devils went 2-0 in those matchups, while the Virginia Tech Hokies were 0-2 with the two defeats coming back-to-back on a neutral floor.
Considering how tough the conference schedule can be, it will be interesting to see how ACC squads move up and down in rankings now that the league fixture is upon us. Virginia Tech does get a coveted top 25 slot on the Ken Pomeroy rankings at No. 22, with Duke No. 6.
ACC Opener for Blue Devils
One of the final true marquee matchups until after the Christmas break, ESPN2 will televise the contest. Like most other shops, BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review) is selling the Blue Devils on a 9-point chalk line with 139 for the total.
Unless they are paired up against one another in the conference tournament, Wednesday will be the only time Virginia Tech and Duke meet this season. As one would expect, the Blue Devils have a pronounced advantage in the rivalry with a 50-18 record against the Hokies. That mark includes a dominating 21-1 record when Duke and Virginia Tech meet in Durham, the Hokies’ only win at Cameron Indoor Stadium coming in January 2007 when Virginia Tech upset the then-No. 5 Blue Devils.
Duke and Virginia Tech only met one time a season ago, and the Hokies posted a 74-67 decision in Blacksburg to halt a 3-game Blue Devils win streak in the series. Virginia Tech was a small home underdog in that contest and has covered four of the last six matchups while the last 10 meetings have split the totals 5-5 O/U.
‘Over’ Cashes in Three of Virginia Tech’s Last Four
Now in his third season in Blacksburg, Mike Young knows how important this game could be for his team that continues to linger just outside the AP poll. Young was also quick to note in his weekly press conference just how deep this Blue Devils roster is and saved some of his highest accolades for Duke’s Wendell Moore Jr.
Coming off a tough loss on the road at Dayton, the Hokies played one of their best games of the season last Friday at the Basketball Hall of Fame Shootout in Charlotte. Favored by 2½ on the college basketball odds, Virginia Tech routed a pretty fair St. Bonaventure club that was ranked as high as No. 16 earlier in the season, 86-49.
The Hokies were ready to play from the opening tip, keeping the Bonnies off the scoreboard for nearly the first five minutes in building a 13-0 lead and 42-20 halftime advantage. The lead swelled to as many as 43 in the second half thanks in part to the Hokies hitting 13-of-26 from 3-point range. Hunter Cattoor led the way with 21 points and canned all five of his shots from beyond the arc.
Dookies Have Covered Last Three Games
Since suffering their only loss at Ohio State three weeks ago, Mike Krzyzewski’s lads have been keeping loose against some lesser competition. Those matchups came against the likes of South Carolina State, Appalachian State, and Elon carried some pretty large spreads at the top-rated sportsbooks with the Blue Devils managing to cover them all.
Duke backers were giving up 27½ last Saturday at home against Elon and managed to cash with a little extra to spare in an 87-56 final. The Blue Devils never trailed, and never got sloppy with just eight turnovers compared to 23 for the Phoenix. As he has done all season, Moore Jr. scored in double digits while dishing five assists, and Trevor Keels netted a game-high 19 to go with three steals.
History is working against the Hokies as far as an outright upset goes, though the program’s second-ever win in Durham would be a nice present from Santa. A college basketball pick with the points will have to suffice.
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