Duke Blue Devils (29-7 SU, 22-12 ATS) vs. Kansas Jayhawks (30-7 SU, 19-16 ATS)
Time: March 25th, 2018 5:05 PM ET
Where: Omaha, NE
by Keith, Professional College Hoops Handicapper, Predictem
Point Spread: Kansas +3
Total Line: 155.5 (Over +110)
In this highly public contest, the line opened with Kansas as a four-point favorite. Since then, thanks to action on the Dukies we have seen the market move by seven points upward to its current spot. Now, the Rock Chalks are a dog when they were once favored to win. In Over/Under markets, the line has moved upward by an incredible 9.5 points to reflect the action on the Over. The Over remains boding a price tag of +110. In Money Line markets, the Blue Devils enter as a +140 underdog while the Jayhawks are a favorite at -160.
On Sunday night, America will bear witness to a battle of college basketball pedigrees, when two of the most storied programs in the history of hoops meet in the Elite Eight. The number one seed Kansas Jayhawks will face off with the number two seed Duke Blue Devils in the Midwestern Regional Final. The game will take place live in Omaha, Nebraska and aired on CBS. In this Elite Eight match-up, the victor will advance to the Final Four. These two teams have met five times in the last seventeen years. The Jayhawks won three of those five meetings as mentioned above and had gone 4-1 ATS over this span. The last meeting between the two in 2016 was a classic. The Jayhawks edged the Blue Devils 77-75. The two teams have dominated the entire Midwestern Region on their path to the Elite Eight. Duke’s journey to this fixture consists of Iona, Rhode Island, and Syracuse. Kansas dispatched Pennsylvania, Seton Hall, and Clemson. These two teams were amongst the favorites to win the tournament from a pre-season futures perspective.
From a betting angle, there are several trends that we have monitored. First, the Over is 12-2 ATS in Duke’s last 14 non-conference contests. Moreover, the Over is 8-2 ATS in Duke’s previous ten neutral-site affairs. Additionally, Kansas is 9-1 SU in their last ten. Duke also enters in great form, and it is 8-2 SU in their last ten outings.
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Duke is led by one of the greatest coaching minds in the history of the game. Coach K knows how to maximize his talent and produce remarkable results. Moreover, the big three of Duke is one that has had many analysts drooling. The question remains whether anyone can stop Singler, Smith, and Scheyer. So far, no one has had an answer for these three. Thus, with just a bucket to spot Duke looks like a good play.
The fact remains that Kansas has tussled with titans all season long. After all, the Jayhawks play in arguably the toughest conference in all of college basketball and still posted dominant figures. Kansas has been hungry for a title for some time now and hopes to prove that the hype was valid finally. The Jayhawks have looked every bit as good as they were supposed to be in route to their Elite Eight date with Duke.
From a glance at how the money has shaped up, the cash action is down the middle between both outfits at this point. Nevertheless, Duke owns 56% of the ticket action. 57% of the consensus also like the Blue Devils here in public forums.
Getting a top seed with points in itself almost warrants a play. The fact remains Duke the more notarized team in this tournament by the fact they have demonstrated an ability to succeed compared to Kansas who is known as a perpetual let-down artist. Nevertheless, Kansas was the top dog in this region with due cause. Expect the Rock Chalks to play with a chip on their shoulder and pull an outright upset if you wish to call it that. KU on the Money Line is our call.
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