26 Mar

2024 NCAA Tournament picks, best bets by proven model

The sixth-seeded BYU Cougars will look to reach the second round for the first time in 10 years when they battle the 11th-seeded Duquesne Dukes in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament on Thursday. The Cougars (23-10), who have won four of their past six games, are making their 31st NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2021. The Dukes (24-11), who have won eight consecutive games, last played in the NCAA Tournament in 1977. Duquesne holds a 2-0 all-time series lead, but the teams last met in 1953.

Tipoff from the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Neb., is set for 12:40 p.m. ET. The Cougars are 9.5-point favorites in the latest Duquesne vs. BYU odds from SportsLine consensus, while the over/under for total points scored is 141.5. Before making any BYU vs. Duquesne picks, be sure to see the college basketball predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s proven model.

The model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. It enters the 2024 NCAA tournament on a 148-106 roll on all top-rated college basketball picks dating back to last season, returning more than $1,700 for $100 players. It also has a strong 29-19 (+810) record on top-rated spread picks this season. Anyone following has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Duquesne vs. BYU. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for BYU vs. Duquesne:

Duquesne vs. BYU spread: BYU -9.5
Duquesne vs. BYU over/under: 141.5 points
Duquesne vs. BYU money line: Duquesne +353, BYU -460
DUQ: The Dukes are 18-16 against the spread this season
BYU: The Cougars are 6-4 ATS over the past 10 games
Duquesne vs. BYU picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why BYU can cover
Four players average double-digit scoring, including junior guard Trevin Knell. In 32 games, including 27 starts, he is averaging 10.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 24.5 minutes. He has reached double-figure scoring 18 times, including a season-high 27 points in a 71-60 loss to Cincinnati on Jan. 6. He scored 20 points in an 87-75 win over TCU on March 2.

Also providing offense for BYU is senior guard Spencer Johnson. He has started all 33 games for the Cougars and is averaging 10.3 points, six rebounds, 3.3 assists and one steal. He has scored 10 or more points in 18 games, including three double-doubles. He scored a season-high 28 points, while adding nine rebounds and five assists in an 87-72 win over Iowa State on Jan. 16. See which team to pick at SportsLine.

Why Duquesne can cover
The Dukes have been led by senior guard Dae Dae Grant. The fifth-year player in his second season at Duquesne, has played in 32 games, including 30 starts, and is averaging 16.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and one steal in 32.8 minutes. He has reached double-digit scoring in each of the last four games, including a 27-point performance in a 70-60 win over St. Bonaventure in the Atlantic 10 semifinals. In the league’s title game, he scored 10 points and added four steals and two assists. He is connecting on 93.9% of his free throws.

Senior guard Jimmy Clark also provides some scoring punch for Duquesne. He has scored in double figures in four of the past five games, including 20 or more in two of those. In a 67-65 win over George Washington on March 9, he scored 22 points, while adding three assists and two rebounds. He had 20 points, four assists and four rebounds in an 83-73 win over Saint Louis on March 13 in the second round of the A-10 Tournament. In 35 games, all starts, he is averaging 15.1 points, 3.8 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 2.4 steals in 31.1 minutes. See which team to pick at SportsLine.

How to make Duquesne vs. BYU picks
The model is leaning Over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 147 points. It also says one side of the spread hits well over 50% of the time. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

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