Wisconsin Favored Over Duke In Monday’s National Championship Clash

by NESN Staff

April 6, 2015

The Duke Blue Devils will look to win a fifth national championship title under head coach Mike Krzyzewski when they take on the surging Wisconsin Badgers as narrow one-point underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com on Monday.

The Blue Devils earned their trip to the national championship game with a devastating 81-61 beatdown of the Michigan State Spartans in their Final Four matchup, claiming the against-the-spread (ATS) win as 5.5-point favorites in the game Saturday night.

The win was Duke’s fifth in a row — both straight up (SU) and against the spread — improving the squad’s current run to 17-1 SU in its last 18 games (13-5 ATS) ahead of Monday’s Blue Devils vs. Badgers betting matchup at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Defense has been the hallmark of Duke’s recent success. The Blue Devils have held opponents to 57 or fewer points in seven of their last 12 contests, winning by double-digits in nine of their last 12 outings. Not surprisingly, the point total has regularly finished UNDER in recent Duke games, going 8-2 in the last 10 outings.

Duke faces a Badgers squad that has roared to life following a mediocre start to the NCAA Tournament. Wisconsin disappointed bettors with a pair of ATS losses on the opening weekend of March Madness, failing to cover as a heavy double-digit favorite in SU wins over No. 16 Coastal Carolina and No. 8 Oregon.

Those ATS losses extended a worrisome trend for the Badgers, who moved on to the Sweet Sixteen with just four ATS wins in their previous 11 games. However, the Badgers returned to form in decisive wins over No. 4 North Carolina and No. 2 Arizona last weekend, shocking the favored Wildcats in an 85-78 Elite Eight win.

Wisconsin earned the favorite status for Monday’s national championship game following its stunning 71-64 win over Kentucky in the Final Four, ending the Wildcats’ 38-game SU winning streak and their dreams of an undefeated championship season.

The Badgers will gun for their first national title since 1941 riding a 21-1 SU run in their last 22 games, but they must overcome a disappointing 80-70 loss to Duke earlier this season in which they were pegged as solid 4.5-point home favorites on the college basketball betting lines.

Thumbnail image via Mary Langenfeld/USA TODAY Sports Images

Picked For You