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Duke vs. Virginia, UCLA vs Arizona Betting Previews and Prediction

Updated: Mar 11, 2023

In this week's Out of the Vault newsletter...

Duke Blue Devils vs Virginia Cavaliers⚔️

UCLA Bruins vs Arizona Wildcasts🐈

Matchups and picks🏀

March Madness college basketball started the same way it always does, with top-seeded teams dominating, nail-biting finishes, and surprising wins. This happened over a week of high-stakes tournament games in leagues all over the United States.

Now that these tournaments have reached the championship round this weekend, the intensity of these games should shift to a higher gear as these teams lay everything on the line for college basketball glory and the all-important automatic bids in the Big Dance—the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

All eyes will be on championship games in the ACC, SEC, and PAC-12, where many of the top teams in the nation and NCAA tournament favorites are playing. Since these games involve popular college basketball teams, sportsbooks also expect that most of the money bet on sports this weekend will be on these games.


Duke Blue Devils vs. Virginia Cavaliers— ACC Tournament Championship Games on Saturday at 8:30 PM at Greensboro Coliseum

Duke and Virginia, two of the most successful college basketball teams in the country, will play in the ACC Tournament Finals.

The Blue Devils are putting up a memorable run in their first season following the retirement of legendary head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Duke reached the ACC tournament finals after stunning top-seed Miami, 85-78, in the conference semifinals. Duke, the No. 21 team in the nation based on the latest AP Ranking, opened their ACC tournament campaign with a resounding 96-69 win over Pittsburgh on Thursday.

Virginia carved their way to the finals after coming through with masterful wins over North Carolina and Clemson. The Cavaliers started their season by beating the Tar Heels 68-59 in the quarterfinals. This made it less likely that one of the most successful college basketball teams in US history would get into the NCAA tournament. In the semifinals, Virginia handled their business with relative ease as they blew out the No. 3 seed, Clemson, 76-56.

Duke has been on a tear since their Valentine’s Day win over Notre Dame, racking up seven more wins after that. During their winning streak, the Blue Devils have shown how strong they are by winning by an average of 12.8 points. Kyle Filipowski has been huge in his team’s two tournament wins. He racked up 22 points against Pittsburgh and then followed it up with a 17-point, 11-rebound outing against Miami.

Virginia continues to rely on their balanced offense, which is led by guard Armaan Franklin, who averages 12.7 points per game this season. The Cavaliers might not be the most tantalizing teams out there, but they are a well-coached squad and do most of their work on the defensive end of the floor.

This will be the second time Virginia and Duke play each other this season. The first game went beyond regulation time, with the Cavaliers eking out a 69-62 overtime win on February 11. After that, Duke started playing its best basketball of the season, looking more and more like a team that is poised to make some serious noise in the NCAA tournament.

Despite the fact that Virginia came out on top in their last meeting, Duke is pegged as a 3-point favorite in this ACC championship game, largely because of their eight-game winning streak. Duke’s scoring outburst in the tournament (96 points against Pittsburgh and 85 points against Miami) only shows that this team’s offense is clicking at the right time. Sportsbook placed the total for this game at 123.5 points, which this game can easily eclipse behind the Blue Devils’ increasingly potent offense. When all is said and done, Duke will prevail in this rematch by double digits.

BetMGM's odds

Spread: -2.5 (-115) / +2.5 (-105)

Total: o/u 123.5(-110)

Moneyline: -145 /+125


Arizona Wildcats vs UCLA Bruins – PAC-12 Championship Saturday at 10:30 PM at T-Mobile Arena

The third face-off between bitter PAC-12 rivals, UCLA and Arizona square off once again, but this time at stake is a guaranteed spot in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

After splitting their season-series at 1-1, the Bruins and the Wildcats will square off in a tiebreaker that will determine the PAC-12 tournament champion. UCLA has emerged as slight favorites at -1.0, but every major sportsbook nevertheless expects this game to go down to the wire.

Arizona beat Stanford 95-84 in the quarterfinals and then beat Arizona State 78-59 in the semifinals to set up a winner-take-all game with UCLA on Saturday. As for the Bruins, they had to overcome Colorado, (80–69) and Oregon, (75–56) to reach the final round of the PAC-12 tournament.

Sportsbooks are predicting a high-scoring affair for the third game this season between these highly-touted program. BetMGM set the total at 147.5 points, a mark that was surpassed in the second outing between these two programs.

Unlike the second game, this one is going to produce a closer finish, with Arizona coming out on top this time around. The Wildcats possess the tools to counter everything the Bruins can provide them in this matchup. Moreover, star stalwart Azuolas Tubelis is due for a big game as he is set to lead the Cats once again.

BetMGM's odds

Spread: +1.0 (-110) / +1.0 (-110)

Total: o/u 147.5(-110)

Moneyline: -105 /-115

NCAA College Basketball has now entered March Madness, offering tons of opportunities for sports bettors to score biwins from betting on their favorite teams.


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