Virginia is a 4-point underdog against Duke on Wednesday as the Cavaliers look to score their second upset win over the Blue Devils this month.
Virginia still desperately needs marquee wins to add to its résumé, while Duke is chasing its first regular-season conference title since 2010. The Blue Devils will surely want revenge on the road to avenge their loss at home just a couple of weeks ago.
Virginia closed as 11-point underdogs in Cameron Indoor on Feb. 7, so you’d expect about a six-point adjustment with home court flipped for the rematch. But the Blue Devils have one team in the entire league who can really create matchup issues against them, and it’s Virginia.
I don’t read much into trends generally, but there is a reason Virginia coach Tony Bennett is 33-16 against the spread as an underdog in the ACC since 2013.
Since it truly became his program then, the Cavaliers are very difficult to get margin against because they don’t beat themselves, play at a really slow pace and force their style on their opponents.
Even with a more focused Duke team out for revenge, the Cavaliers are playing for their season, and a win would vault them right onto the bubble. I’ll back Bennett and the Cavaliers catching multiple possessions at home.
The play: Virginia, +4.5.