​Cover Photo: Getty Images

The first round in the East Region of the ​NCAA Tournament features a matchup between the No. 16-seed North Dakota State Bison (19-15) and the overall No. 1-seed Duke Blue Devils (29-5). The Blue Devils are heavily favored with ​FanDuel Sportsbook listing Duke as ​27-point favorites.

Since it's always smart to get an expert's opinion before wagering on any game in the NCAA Tournament, let's see what some in the industry are saying about this ​first-round matchup.

North Dakota State vs Duke Predictions


Dan Schalk, of MyFantasySportsTalk, is predicting a rout in this contest, with Duke winning by a final score of 99-50, making this an easy cover for the Blue Devils. 


Pete Fiutak, of CollegeFootballNews, believes Duke will dominate the boards, which could give North Dakota State problems all night. However, Fiutak doesn't think the Blue Devils will cover this massive spread, predicting Duke to win by a score of 86-64.

Sports Chat Place

The folks at Sports Chat Place are rolling with Duke as 27-point favorites. The staff at Sports Chat Place believes the Bison have played terrible competition this season, which doesn't bode well for their chances against the top-seeded Blue Devils.

ESPN Basketball Power Index Matchup Predictor 

ESPN's Matchup Predictor is also picking the Blue Devils, giving them a 99.1 percent chance at advancing to the Round of 32.

All four highlighted experts are taking Duke to win, with two of the three experts who picked the game with spread going with the Blue Devils to cover the 27 points.

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Taylor Smith is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username jtsmittyyy. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.