2019 March Madness: Duke vs. UCF odds, picks, NCAA Tournament predictions from proven model on 11-5 run

A team that's a mainstay in the Sweet 16 meets one that's never made it that far when the Duke Blue Devils face the UCF Knights in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament on Sunday. Top-seeded Duke (30-5), which beat North Dakota State, 85-62, on Friday, will be playing for its 27th appearance in the Sweet 16. Central Florida (24-8) will be playing for its first. The Knights got the first NCAA Tournament win in program history on Friday in a 73-58 victory against VCU. Tipoff is set for 5:15 p.m. ET Sunday at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C. The Blue Devils are favored by 13.5 points in the latest Duke vs. UCF odds, while the over-under for total points scored is 143.5. Before making any Duke vs. Central Florida picks of your own, be sure to check out the NCAA Tournament predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.

This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has raked in the winnings for those following its picks. Over the past two years, the SportsLine Projection Model has returned over $4,000 to $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks. It also entered the postseason on a strong 11-5 run on all top-rated college basketball picks. Anyone who has followed it is way up. 

Now the model has honed in on Duke vs. UCF. We can tell you it is leaning over, and it has also locked in an against-the-spread pick that cashes in over 50 percent of simulations. That one is only available at SportsLine.

The model has factored in that Duke has lost just two games with Zion Williamson in the lineup this season and not one since Jan. 14. Williamson, the ultra-talented freshman forward who's expected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, is averaging 22.2 points and 8.7 rebounds per game and shooting 69.6 percent from the field. Against VCU on Friday, he had 25 points on 12-of-16 shooting.

In the four games since Williamson returned from a knee sprain, the Blue Devils are averaging 79.0 points and shooting 50.2 percent from the field. They are also limiting opponents to 67.5 points a game and out-rebounding them by four.

But just because the Blue Devils dominate this game on paper does not guarantee they will cover the Duke vs. UCF spread.

The Knights have shown the defensive ability to slow a team like the Blue Devils. Led by 7-foot-6 center Tacko Fall, UCF ranks fifth in the country in field goal percentage defense (31.1) and fourth in blocked shots per game (6.0). Fall is ninth in the nation in blocks per game (2.6) while also averaging 7.7 rebounds. On Friday against VCU, Fall dominated the paint with 13 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks. He helped the Knights limit the Rams to just 31.1 percent shooting. 

On the offensive end, UCF made 9-of-14 three-pointers (64.3 percent) against VCU. If the Knights' remain hot from deep, they will be a difficult out for any opponent.

So who wins UCF vs. Duke? And which side of the spread can you bank on in over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the UCF vs. Duke spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that's up more than $4,000 on top-rated college basketball picks the past two seasons.

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