The Duke Blues Devils and Texas Tech Red Raiders will square off in a huge Sweet 16 matchup. Read for a prediction and the best bets for this one.
NCAAB Betting Preview: Duke Blue Devils vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders 3/24/22
Both the Duke Blue Devils and Texas Tech Red Raiders have had similar paths to this year’s Sweet 16. Before March Madness began, they both lost in the final of their conference’s tournament with Duke losing to Virginia Tech and Texas Tech falling to Kansas.
Duke and Texas Tech are the respective #2 and #3 seeds in the western section of the bracket. Duke beat #15 CSU Fullerton and #7Michigan State to get here while Texas Tech took down #14 Montana State and #11 Notre Dame.
The two teams will meet in a heavyweight matchup on Thursday night with the winner moving on to the Elite 8.
This is a tough one to get a feel for. Everyone knows the script that Duke is trying to write for Coach K’s final dance, but it seems like that’s been overshadowing what a sound basketball team the Red Raiders are.
Both teams have won four out of their last five games played, with both losses coming in their conference championship game.
Anyone who’s been watching this Duke team this season knows that their success is dependent on freshman forward Paolo Banchero who is the team’s leading scorer. Banchero was voted the ACC’s Freshman of the Year, First-team All-ACC. He led the team in points (19) and assists (4) in their hard-fought Round of 32 victory over Michigan State and was also 8 of 14 in field goal attempts.
If Duke wants to move on and keep Coach K dancing, Banchero will need to command the Blue Devils’ offense yet again. Another key Duke player to look out for on Thursday night will be sophomore guard Jeremy Roach. Roach put up 15 points on 6 of 10 shooting and played 37 minutes last time out against the Spartans.
On Texas Tech’s side, they snuck by Notre Dame with a six point victory in the Round of 32. In that game, their offense was led by senior forward Kevin Obanor who had a double double with 15 points and 15 rebounds, as well as super-senior forward Bryson Williams who put up 14 points on 6 of 14 shooting in just 23 minutes on the floor.
Texas Tech shot just 35% from the floor overall against Notre Dame, a big reason why the Fighting Irish were able to keep it so close.
They’re led by first-year Head Coach Mark Adams who had been the assistant coach since 2016 until taking over this season. Adams has put together a formidable machine in his Red Raiders and their speciality has been defense. They’ve stood out in a Big 12 conference that is arguably the best in collegiate basketball.
ESPN’s “Matchup Predictor” has this game at a 54% win probability for Texas Tech and 46% for Duke. Those leaning toward Texas Tech would not be making a bad bet, but keep in mind who they’re playing.
Duke’s amount of experience in these situations cannot be undervalued, and the Coach K storyline feels like something you shouldn’t bet against.
That said, Texas Tech is arguably the better basketball team as they have a number of ways they can beat you. This is a Red Raiders team that attacks in the paint and plays relentless defense.
If they can contain Paolo Banchero, Duke’s chances in this one are going to be decreased significantly. Both teams were held close in their Round of 32 matchups against inferior opponents, so it’s anyone’s guess how things will play out when these two juggernauts go head-to-head on Thursday night.
The moneyline is incredibly close, favoring Texas Tech at -115 and with Duke at -105. The nature of Duke basketball plus the Coach K situation says take Duke. They’re an incredible basketball team with a crazy amount of talent and they can hang in there with any team in this tournament.
The spread is just one point as of now, so definitely take Duke on that. The over/under is 137. Duke’s inconsistent defense coupled with both teams’ relentless offenses says take the over in this one.
Final score prediction: Duke 81, Texas Tech 78
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