Duke vs Tennessee Prediction - Basketball Picks 3/18/23

Tennessee Volunteers (24-10) vs Duke Blue Devils (27-8)

Game Info: Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 2:40 pm (Amway Center)

Betting Odds: Tennessee Volunteers +3.5 -- Over/Under: 128.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Tennessee Volunteers and the Duke Blue Devils will meet in the second round of the East Region in Orlando at the Amway Center on CBS. These two southern schools have faced off fifteen times, with Duke holding a series lead of, 8-7, despite Tennessee winning the last meeting back at the Maui Invitational in 2011.

Duke Betting Preview

Duke improved to 27-8 after defeating Oral Roberts in the first round. The Blue Devils pounced on the Golden Eagles early, and beat them by twenty-three, 74-51. Duke is scoring 72.5 points per game, while allowing 63.9 ppg, and shooting 45.1% from the floor. 

Duke shook off all of the upset noise with an assertive effort on both sides of the ball against Oral Roberts, and they’ll look to take down a fellow defensive-minded Vols squad here. Freshman forward Kyle Filipowski has scored 20 points in three of the last five games, and he leads Duke in scoring (15.1) and rebounding (9.0). Junior guard Jeremy Roach has scored 23 points in back-to-back games, and he’s up to 13.6 ppg and a team-lead 3.1 apg. Duke’s freshman class has played big down the stretch with Tyrese Proctor (9.2 ppg, 3.2 apg) double-doubling in the quarterfinal win over Pitt alongside Roach in the backcourt, and Mark Mitchell (9.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and Dereck Lively II (5.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg) beefing up the front line with Flip. 

Tennessee Betting Preview

Tennessee comes in at 24-10 after defeating Louisiana in the first round. The Volunteers jumped out to a big lead at the break, and they held off a late rally from the Ragin’ Cajuns to win by three, 58-55. Tennessee is scoring 71.8 points per game, while allowing 56.7 ppg, and shooting 43.2% from the floor.

Tennessee avoided disaster in the first round against UL-Lafayette, and if they come out sluggish here against Duke they may find themselves in trouble. Tennessee also represents one of the top defensive teams in the country, and it remains a collective effort on the offensive end. Veteran guard Santiago Vescovi will look to respond to a rough outing versus Louisiana here, but he leads the Vols in scoring (12.6), while grabbing 4.5 rpg. Sophomore guard Zakai Ziegler’s absence down the stretch has been noticeable, and that could really haunt them here against a veteran like Jeremy  Roach. Four-year starter Josiah-Jordan James scored 20 points in the SEC tourney win over Ole Miss, and he’s up to 10.1 ppg and 4.6 rpg. 

Duke vs Tennessee Trends

Duke is 16-19 against the spread this season, with a 13-21-1 over/under record. Tennessee is 17-17 ATS this year, with a 13-20-1 o/u record.

Corey's Free Pick

Tennessee is limping into this matchup, and they just get beat at their own game here. Rick Barnes’ bunch leans on their rugged defensive approach, but there’s no doubt in my mind Jon Scheyer’s squad can match their intensity on that side of the ball. The Blue Devils are streaking right now, and after winning ten straight games, the possibility of them raising another banner in year one of the new era is not out of the realm. Take Duke’s spread here as they’ll look to return to the Sweet 16.

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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