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NCAA Tournament 2016 odds, Oregon vs. Duke: Blue Devils underdogs against Ducks

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The defending champion Duke Blue Devils face the Oregon Ducks as betting underdogs on Thursday in the Sweet 16.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The Oregon Ducks are 16-2 straight up and 12-6 against the spread in their last 18 games including a current 10-game winning streak. To advance into the Elite Eight, the Ducks will need to dispatch the defending NCAA champions on Thursday as they square off against Duke.

Oregon is a 3-point betting favorite in Thursday's Sweet 16 matchup at sportsbooks monitored by The Ducks are 7-2 SU and ATS in their last nine games as a favorite of three points or fewer.

The first two rounds of March Madness didn't do much to help the image of the Pac-12, which saw five of its seven tournament teams get knocked out in the first round and then Utah get blown out by Gonzaga in the second round. But the one team that remains is the Oregon Ducks, who proved to be the conference's best in winning both the regular season title and the Pac-12 Tournament.

Oregon has been one of the best teams in college basketball all season, and a win over a storied program like Duke would earn the Ducks some recognition.

Since the NCAA Tournament bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985, Oregon has advanced to the Sweet 16 three times. They are 2-1 SU and ATS in those three games per the OddsShark College Basketball Database.

In a season mired with injuries and inconsistency, the Duke Blue Devils entered the tournament in the midst of a 3-4 SU and 1-5-1 ATS slump. But as a No. 4 seed, the Blue Devils have managed to fend off two pesky teams in No. 13 UNC Wilmington and No. 12 Yale to advance into the Sweet 16.

Duke is 11-3 SU and 8-6 ATS in its last 14 games played in the month of March and has plenty of experience in big games.

Thursday's total is set at 157 points at the sportsbooks. The UNDER is 9-3 in Duke's last 12 games and 5-1 in its last six Sweet 16 appearances.

In the last 28 games between No. 1 seeds and No. 4 seeds, 1-seeds are 21-7 SU. But Duke isn't a prototypical four seed, and Oregon will know that coming into a game against the defending champions. This looks on paper to be one of the most interesting and evenly matched games in the Sweet 16.