NCAA Tournament Betting Picks: Target the Under for Vermont vs. Duke

Skyler Carlin
Skyler Carlin@skyler_carlin
NCAA Tournament Betting Picks: Target the Under for Vermont vs. Duke

Very few things on the sports calendar can match the excitement and unpredictability of the NCAA Tournament. So why not add betting to the mix via the college basketball odds at FanDuel Sportsbook?

The 2024 edition of the big dance has arrived, and here at FanDuel Research, we'll have you covered with a betting guide for each game.

Among the contests to kickstart the NCAA Tournament, we have the Vermont Catamounts squaring off against the Duke Blue Devils as double-digit favorites. Which bets are worth consideration in this Round of 64 matchup?

All college basketball odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook, and lines may change after this article is published.

NCAA Tournament Betting Picks

Vermont vs. Duke Betting Odds

Date and Time: Friday, March 22nd at 7:10 p.m. ET

Spread: Duke -12.5 (-105)

Total: 132.5


  • Vermont: +580
  • Duke: -880

Vermont vs. Duke Statistical Breakdown

Advanced stats from KenPom, Bart Torvik and numberFire.

Vermont Catamounts

  • numberFire Ranking: 105th
  • Bart Torvik Ranking: 110th
  • KenPom Ranking: 104th
    • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Ranking: 62nd
    • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Ranking: 159th
    • Adjusted Tempo Ranking: 349th

Duke Blue Devils

  • numberFire Ranking: 10th
  • Bart Torvik Ranking: 11th
  • KenPom Ranking: 8th
    • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Ranking: 26th
    • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Ranking: 7th
    • Adjusted Tempo Ranking: 231st

Vermont vs. Duke Best Bet

Under 132.5 (-110)

Defense is going to be the primary focus for both Vermont and Duke in Friday's clash between the 13 and 4 seeds in the South region of the bracket. The Catamounts are 62nd in adjusted defense efficiency and are surrendering the 9th-fewest points per game (63.0) in the nation

Additionally, Vermont is registering the 44th-most defensive rebounds per game (27.2) and are 23rd in effective field goal percentage allowed (46.7%).

Meanwhile, the Blue Devils are 26th in adjusted defensive efficiency and are giving up the 54th-fewest points per game (67.4).

Pace should also be a factor that aids the under being the ideal bet in this showdown.

Neither of these teams prefer to play fast often, with Vermont being 349th in adjusted pace and Duke being 231st in adjusted pace. With both programs not pushing the basketball consistently, the Catamounts and Blue Devils are both within the top 100 in double-digit scoring runs allowed per game, per EvanMiya's team ratings.

Taking that into account, we shouldn't see many quick runs from either team as these squads tend to seek out an efficient shot on offense and then get back to set up on defense.

The combination of formidable defense and slow pace has led Vermont and Duke to both go 8-2 to the under in their last 10 games entering the tourney.

Vermont vs. Duke Prop Bet

Jared McCain Over 4.5 Rebounds (-144)

To fit our narrative of Vermont and Duke having a low-scoring output, we'll take Jared McCain (13.4 PPG, 4.9 RPG) to record five-plus rebounds for the Blue Devils. The Catamounts and Blue Devils are both 114th or better in effective field-goal percentage on offense, but these defenses also excel at forcing tough shots.

Even though McCain is a 6'3" guard, he is active on the glass for a Duke team that is tied for the 104th-most defensive rebounds per game (26.0). After corralling five or more boards in just five of his first 18 games, McCain has posted five-plus rebounds in 10 of his last 14 outings -- including three of his last four.

What also helps McCain's chances of grabbing enough rebounds to hit the over on his prop is the fact that Vermont is 345th in offensive-rebound rate (22.4%). While Kyle Filipowski (17.1 PPG, 8.2 RPG) and Mark Mitchell (12.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG) lead Duke in rebounding, McCain will be attacking the boards, as well.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.