You could never call the Duke Blue Devils a “Cinderella” team during the NCAA Tournament, but the program is trying to give Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski a storybook ending in his final season on the sideline for the Dukies.
March Madness odds have the No. 2 Blue Devils are laying some major lumber in their Round of 64 showdown with the No. 15 Cal State Fullerton Titans in Greenville on Friday. Duke earned the second seed in the West Region despite falling short in the ACC tournament. Cal State punched its ticket to the Big Dance by winning the Big West tournament.
Check out our free March Madness picks and predictions for Cal State Fullerton vs. Duke on March 18.
CSU Fullerton vs. Duke odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
Duke opened as 17.5-point chalk and has since been bet up as high as -19. The total hit the board at 143.5 points and has climbed to 145.5.
CSU Fullerton vs Duke predictions
Predictions made on 3/16/2022 at 9:35 am ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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CSU Fullerton vs Duke game info
• Lease: Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, SC
• Date: Friday, March 18, 2022
• tip-off: 7:10 p.m. ET
• TV: CBS
CSU Fullerton vs. Duke betting preview
CSU Fullerton: None.
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Betting trend to know
The Over is 6-0 in Blue Devils’ last six games as favorites. Find more NCAA betting trends for CSU Fullerton vs. Duke.
CSU Fullerton vs Duke picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
It’s been a series of reality checks for the Blue Devils over the past month. First, Duke failed to give Coach K a proper send-off in his final game versus rival North Carolina in the regular season. Then, it came up short in the ACC tournament, losing to Virginia Tech by 15 points in the title game.
Those hiccups cost Duke a No. 1 March Madness seed in the eyes of the selection committee, but make no mistake: this Blue Devils team has the chops to win the entire tournament. But are they good enough to cover this massive spread in the Round of 64?
Those recent losses were the program’s lone defeats over the past 11 games, in which Duke went just 4-7 ATS. On the season, the Blue Devils are 16-3 SU when laying double figures but just 8-9-2 ATS versus those puggy pointspreads. However, they do get a boost from the bracket schedule in this opener.
Beyond what the Titans bring the court or the history of their opponent for Friday, Cal State Fullerton is in a tough situational spot in the Round of 64.
The Titans run the risk of a letdown after edging rival Long Beach State in the Big West tournament final (CSU was picked to finish No. 7 in the Big West in the preseason) and now have to cross the country to play in South Carolina – a venue just less than three hours away from Durham. I’m almost surprised the schedule makers didn’t do Duke another favor and slot this game (7:10 pm ET) for Friday’s early tip.
Cal State Fullerton has a well-rounded and experienced team but doesn’t have an overwhelming edge against the talent-stacked Blue Devils. Duke is bigger, faster, and has a surplus of five-star scorers, with five guys averaging double digits in points.
Krzyzewski knows he can’t let his young team dwell on those recent letdowns, and after watching the offense take a step back in the ACC tournament, he’ll be pushing to right the ship, setting the tone for the rest of the tournament and a potential run-in with some very sound defensive opponents on Duke’s end of the region. The Blue Devils are a good bounce-back bet, going 4-1 ATS when coming off a loss this season.
Prediction: Duke -18 (-110)
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This total has made significant adjustments, jumping as many as four points at some sportsbooks. With a spread this big, Over/Under bettors have to weigh the impact a blowout would have on the second-half pace, but I’m banking on Duke to use this game as an offensive booster before playing much stiffer competition down the road.
Cal State Fullerton does run a slower pace on offense and pushes opponents deep into the shot clock, doing a great job checking the up-tempo attack of Long Beach State to only 63 possessions (LBSU averages 73 per game) in the Big West title game . But they haven’t faced firepower like Duke before.
The Blue Devils have a large advantage in more ways than one. Duke is superior in shooting, especially from beyond the arc, and will exploit the Titans in the halfcourt with a cut-heavy playbook that thrives on assists, boasting the 44th-highest assist-to-field goal ratio in the country. When CSU does force a miss, the Blue Devils’ size will dominate the glass, sitting 57th in offensive rebound rate.
As for the Titans’ attack, they’re best at drawing fouls and cashing in from the free-throw line. Cal State Fullerton draws an average of 19.2 fouls per contest (25th in the country) then converts those whistles, attempting 19.6 foul shots and shooting 76.4% from the charity stripe.
The Blue Devils do a very good job moving their feet on defense, and enter this Round of 64 game talking the talk about playing “Duke defense” after a bad showing versus the Hokies. But any points scored with the clock stopped is a boon for Over bettors.
Prediction: Over 145.5 (-110)
Betting Round of 64 blowouts is the bane of many basketball bettors. There’s not much value bobbing around out there, but if you like to shop, you can find some advantageous lines that vary from book to book.
Scoring the mainstream shops, we stumble into the “winning margin” markets. The current spread is sitting between -18 and -19 at those books, which makes the band of possible margins that includes that range of pointspreads (Duke winning by 17 to 20 points) a tempting take as high as +475.
But beyond that, you have some places offering 21 or more points – a much more forgiving winning margin set that offers anything above a 20-point blowout. And with this spread up as high as -19 and likely to go even higher by the time the frenzied public shows up to lay Duke with both fists Friday, we’re grabbing the Blue Devils by 21 or more.
pick: Duke winning margin – 21 or more points (+130)