Duke is a Popular Choice in March Madness Odds

February 20th, 2018 NCAA Basketball

March Madness odds point to Duke in their opening round game against the winner of the play-in game between Arkansas Pine Bluff and Winthrop.

Duke is the top seed in the South and a popular team in March Madness betting.

March Madness odds will favor Duke by double-digits in the first round against either Arkansas Pine-Bluff or Winthrop.  The NCAA Tournament committee definitely did Duke some favors by putting them in the South. This could be the weakest region of the four.  Duke could also be the weakest of the #1 seeds but they are not being treated that way.  The Blue Devils are getting some serious March Madness betting respect as they are one of the major contenders to win it all behind Kansas. It should be noted though that the last time the Blue Devils were a top seed was in 2006 and they lost in the Sweet Sixteen.

Duke went 29-5 this season but there is no question the ACC had a down year.  The Blue Devils have three shooters in Jon Scheyer, Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith. When they are hot the Blue Devils can beat anyone. When they go cold they are vulnerable.  Duke does have a great head coach though in Mike Krzyzewski and the region does set up for them well with a slumping Villanova team as their biggest challenger.  Duke last won the national title in March Madness odds in 2001.

Duke will be matched up against either Arkansas Pine Bluff or Winthrop in the opening round.  Arkansas Pine Bluff actually started this season with an 11-game losing streak.  They were 2-12 in mid-January. They closed the season though on a 12-3 run and earned the #2 seed in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.  They won the conference tournament and now they will face Winthrop in the play-in game.  The bad news for Arkansas Pine Bluff is that a Southwestern Athletic Conference team has not won a game in the NCAA Tournament since 1993.  If they get past Winthrop they have no real shot of winning against Duke.

Winthrop lost three of its last four regular-season games but they won three straight to win the Big South tournament.   They also would have very little chance of winning against Duke but at least they did play in a little bit better conference than Arkansas Pine Bluff.

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