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Duke Peaking at the Right Time

Posted by Jay Sanin on 2/21/2017 6:43:12 AM

Earlier this college basketball season, it wasn't a given that Duke would qualify for the NCAA Tournament after a series of losses that did not live up to the usual lofty standards of the program. Since then, though, the Blue Devils have been nearly flawless, boosting their stock back to where they need to be to reach the NCAA Tournament. Now that they've solidified their spot in the dance, Duke's odds to win the title reveal that they're peaking at just the right time.

Duke Dominating

Since losing to NC State at home in late January, Duke has not lost a game. They've run off seven consecutive wins, including some over impressive foes. That streak has featured three wins over ranked opponents, including an away win against Notre Dame, home win over North Carolina, and road win against Virginia. That's a great streak, and one that could vault Duke into a top three seed in an NCAA Tournament region if they can finish the season strong.

The biggest reason for Duke's upward trend has to be the return of coach Mike Krzyzewski, whose absence was felt during the team's run of poor form this season. But Duke's offense has been the real star of the show this season, with the Blue Devils averaging just under 82 points per game, a number that puts them in the top 25 in the nation as the month of February draws to a close.

Duke NCAA Tournament Futures Betting

Right now, there aren't many teams that are as heavily favored as Duke is to win this year's NCAA Tournament. The Blue Devils sit at +850 odds to emerge from this year's 68 team bracket as the champion, behind only Gonzaga, North Carolina, and UCLA. And while those three teams have strong pedigrees, their lack of performance on big stages in recent history suggest that Duke could very well knock them all off en route to a second title in three seasons come March.

If there is a potential for Duke to fall, it will be against a team capable of scoring in bunches, as Duke's defense has looked suspect at times this season even during their recent win streak.

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