Duke still favored to win NCAA title after Zion Williamson injury

Updated February 21, 2019 - 6:57 pm

Duke’s stock didn’t drop as much as Nike’s stock did after Blue Devils freshman star Zion Williamson blew out his shoe and suffered a right knee sprain in Wednesday’s 88-72 loss to North Carolina.

Duke remained the plus 170 favorite at South Point sports book Thursday to win the 2019 NCAA title and was still the 2-1 favorite at William Hill.

Nike stock closed at 83.95 dollars a share Thursday; it was trading at 84.85 when the market closed Wednesday, about two hours before Williamson’s shoe exploded on national TV.

South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews said he took down his “Four vs. the Field” NCAA championship prop bet that pitted Duke, Michigan, Gonzaga and Kansas (-120) vs. the field (even) until Williamson’s status is clarified.

Caesars Entertainment sportsbook moved Duke’s title odds from 2-1 to 5-2 when Williamson was injured and quickly took a big bet on the Blue Devils at plus 250, according to Caesars risk manager Jeff Davis.

Duke is now the plus 220 favorite at Caesars, followed by Gonzaga at 6-1 and Virginia and Kentucky at 7-1.

“They’re still the favorite,” Davis said of Duke. “It seems like everyone expects (Williamson) to be back for the (NCAA) Tournament.”

Duke is the futures ticket and money leader at Caesars, which has taken 2½ times as much cash on the Blue Devils to win the title as on Kentucky, the second-most popular choice.

Las Vegas oddsmakers estimated that Williamson is worth five points to the line on Duke games.

Williamson, the projected No. 1 overall NBA draft pick, is averaging 21.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.8 blocks while shooting 68.3 percent.

More betting: Follow at reviewjournal.com/betting and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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