March Madness betting favors Duke by double-digits on Friday in their first round game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Blue Devils are expected to have little trouble in March Madness odds with a Golden Lions’ team that had to win the play-in game against Winthrop to get this far.
March Madness betting may have Duke favored but Arkansas-Pine Bluff at least has a chance to cover the spread. The Golden Lions started the season 0-11 but they turned things around played very well down the stretch including winning the SWAC Tournament. They then took out Winthrop in the play-in game on Tuesday.
Duke handled teams like Arkansas-Pine Bluff with little trouble this season as they routed Coastal Carolina by 25 and Radford by 37. Arkansas-Pine Bluff handled Coastal Carolina easily in the conference tourney championship game as they won by 17 points so perhaps this game can be competitive for a little while in March Madness odds. The Golden Lions do a couple of things very well as they rebound and defend three-point shots. Considering that Duke loves to shoot threes that is good news for Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The problem for the Golden Lions is that they don’t score many points and that probably means they have very little chance to shock the world and upset Duke.
Duke was really helped by the NCAA Tournament committee and they were put in the easiest region. The Blue Devils don’t want to hear any of it though. “This is the NCAA tournament.” guard Nolan Smith said, “There’s no such thing as an easy path.” Duke has not reached the Final Four since 2004 but there is no question that the South is the easiest of the four regions.
“There’s so many upsets every year, every game’s going to be hard,” Smith said. “So we definitely don’t pay any attention to the ‘easy path’ thing.”
Looking at some of the point spread trends we find that Duke is only 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. They are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games in March Madness betting.
In regards to the total on this NCAA Tournament game, four of the last five Arkansas-Pine Bluff games have gone under the total. Nine of the last twelve Duke games overall have gone under. Six of their last eight neutral site games have gone under.