Menu Close

James Madison vs. Duke Expert Pick and Prediction – March 24, 2024

James Madison vs. Duke Expert Pick and Prediction – March 24, 2024 

JAMES MADISON VS. DUKE EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – March 24, 2024 — Can a team successfully handle the NCAA tournament without using much of its bench? Duke appears determined to find out, as the Blue Devils barely used their bench at all against Vermont in round 1. They didn’t end up needing much from their reserves, but the Catamounts play at a slow pace and weren’t going to push the tempo much.

James Madison won’t play that game. The Dukes both push the tempo regularly and go deep into their bench, which could impact Duke’s fitness. Madison used that strategy to wear down Wisconsin in its first-round game, using seven players at least 20 minutes. Duke’s bench played a combined 19 minutes for the entire game, as Jon Scheyer didn’t make his first substitution until 10 minutes into the game.

And that makes this a tough ask for the Blue Devils, even with the crowd behind them and a talent edge. At 32-3, Madison isn’t going to be the least bit scared of Duke. The Dukes have already been to Michigan State and won, and based on how the teams played in round 1, they likely believe they can outrun this team.

The Odds 






James Madison

(32-3 SU, 20-14 ATS) 






(26-8 SU, 20-14 ATS) 






When: Sunday, March 24 at 5:15 p.m. EST 

Where: Barclays Center, New York


Public Bets: 86% on James Madison 

Public Money: 68% on James Madison

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of March 24th, 2024

James Madison vs. Duke In-Season Trends 

Playing with only a few players makes Duke lean toward the under. The Blue Devils simply don’t have the personnel to run enough to lean on their offense. Scheyer either doesn’t trust his bench or just wants to roll with his starters, and it’s meant Duke has played to the under in five of its past six games. The exception was North Carolina, which wouldn’t get into the slowdown game and outpaced Duke.

Related: NCAA Tournament Sunday Best Bets for Round 2

Madison is just glad that it doesn’t have to play Appalachian State in the NCAA tournament. The Dukes have won 14 games in a row, but the streakreaches 18 against teams not named Appalachian State. For the year, Madison is 32-1 against everyone except the Mountaineers.

That success has not translated to covers, however, because Madison has only been an underdog four times all season. The Dukes are 3-1 ATS when getting points…and the exception is once again App State.

The Difference-Makers 

Kyle Filipowski had the height advantage against Vermont, but proved virtually useless in the game. The center did grab 12 rebounds, but he took just one shot and missed it. He’s going to need to get more than three points if Duke is going to survive this game.

Related: Texas A&M vs. Houston Pick and Prediction

With how well Duke plays defense, Madison has to use its offensive rebounding to create second chances. T.J. Bickerstaff rebounds the basketball well, but he didn’t have a single offensive rebound against Wisconsin. He did come upm with nine defensive boards in the win over the Badgers, but he’s got to do that work on both sides of the floor.

The Pick 

Duke’s starting five is as good as any in the country, but it’s a fair question to wonder what happens if they run into a team with depth. The Blue Devils appeared emotionally and mentally spent when they faced N.C. State in the ACC tournament, and they got a big edge from facing Vermont’s slow pace in round one. Against a quick-paced No. 13 like Charleston, there’s a real chance the Blue Devils wouldn’t have survived.

James Madison will test that theory. Mark Byington goes deep into his bench regularly and doesn’t see any drop in play when he does. The Dukes will run from the beginning, and indications suggest that Duke might not be able to handle it. I’m backing Madison with the points.

Dan’s Picks 

 James Madison +7.5  

 Under 148.5


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *