The Duke Blue Devils hadn't even walked off the court in the second national semifinal before they were installed by oddsmakers as a 6.5 point favorite over Butler in Monday's national championship.
A combination of Duke's blowout of West Virginia and Butler's ugly victory over Michigan State doubtlessly contributed to the higher-than-expected line. It had been thought before Saturday's action that a Duke-Butler matchup might bring about a five point spread, but the early lines from various oddsmakers gave the Devils a bit more credit.
Though Butler is far from a Cinderella (25 straight wins tends to outgrow a team's need for a glass slipper), compared to a basketball powerhouse like Duke it will be hard not to play the Indianapolis school as David to Duke's Goliath. A sizable spread will likely only further the impression of the wide gulf between the teams.
The NCAA championship game tips off Monday at 9:21 p.m. EDT from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
- Duke Blue Devils