Troy vs Duke March Madness Prediction, Pick & TV Info

Posted by Kenny Bell on Thursday,March 16, 2017 11:47, EST in

Duke was the preseason favorite to win the national championship but had a bit of an up-and- down year that even saw Coach K sidelined for about month. Now the Blue Devils are healthy and rolling into the Big Dance. They are the No. 2 seed in the East Region and huge favorites vs. No. 15 Troy on Friday. Here’s a look at the current NCAAB lines for the game.

Troy vs Duke March Madness Prediction, Pick & TV Info

When: Friday, March 17, 7:20 PM ET
Where: Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, SC
TV: TBS
StreamMarch Madness Live
RadioTroy / Duke
Opening NCAAB Lines: Duke -19

Why Bet On Troy?

After Texas State made an excellent UT Arlington team this season’s chief conference tournament victim, Troy — which finished 10-8 in the Sun Belt but owned the league’s most efficient offense — seized its chance. The Trojans used the hot three-point shooting of Wesley Person Jr. — son of former NBA player Wesley Person — to win the Sun Belt Conference Tournament as the 6 seed. Person made a conference record 15 three-pointers with 57% accuracy as he averaged 21.8 points per game.

The team does have a few players beyond Person. Jordan Varnado, the brother of former Mississippi State star Jarvis Varnado, is the team’s best all-around player, and leads Troy in points per game (16.5), rebounding (6.8 per game) and total blocks (50). Graduate transfer DeVon Walker of Florida has played in two NCAA Tournaments, including the Gators’ run to the 2014 Final Four.

The Trojans have covered the number in four straight outings while watching the under cash in seven of the program’s last nine games. In addition, motivation will be at an all-time high considering this is the school’s first tourney appearance this millennium. Also worth noting is the fact that Troy’s first-round opponent, Duke, is just 1-4 ATS over the last five years in the first round of March Madness.

Expect the Trojans to bring a nothing-to- lose attitude into the postseason that could serve them well. They have decent depth for a school from their league, and they have the three-point shooting to be  dangerous. Traditionally a football school, this is only Troy’s second time to play in the NCAA Tournament. The other being when Troy faced Xavier on March 21, 2003 and lost.

Why Bet On Duke?

Coming off an Elite Eight appearance last season, the Blue Devils started the season as the number-one team in the AP’s preseason top 25 polls. Duke’s 2016-17 season has been nothing if not dramatic. The preseason expectations were huge. The injuries were debilitating. The Grayson Allen Saga was humiliating. Even Coach K himself missed games to undergo and recover from back surgery. Now, suddenly, they’re back in the title conversation.

Mike Krzyzewski’s program just became the first team in ACC history to win the conference tournament with four victories in four days. The Blue Devils are playing fundamentally sound basketball and enter the NCAAs having covered the number in four straight matchups.

The tandem of Luke Kennard and Jayson Tatum push the tempo and seem to make great plays and big shots regardless of the opposing defense. The Blue Devils are 12th in the nation in points per possession. They also hold opponents to the nation’s 10th-worst three-point shooting percentage.

Kennard is the 31st All-American to play for Duke under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, a group that has earned a collective 45 selections. Coach K has coached at least one All-American in 29 of his 37 seasons at Duke. Kennard leads Duke in scoring with an average of 20.1 points per game while shooting .500 from the floor, .443 from outside the arc and .849 from the free throw line. He is one of two players nationally – and the only major-conference player – to average at least 20.0 points while shooting at least .500 from the floor, .400 from outside the arc and .800 from the line.

Tatum (16.9 points, 7.3 rebounds) is making a bid to join Jabari Parker and Jahlil Okafor as the only freshmen to average 15+ points and 7+ rebounds under Coach K.

Duke has won a nation’s-best 13 games over RPI top-50 teams. Seven of the 13 have come away from Cameron against ranked teams. Duke and Troy have never played.

Troy vs Duke March Madness Prediction: Duke Blue Devils

The Trojans’ season already is a success. They are going to lose by about 30 here.