Duke vs. North Carolina tips off this Saturday (2/3/24) at 6:30pm EST in Chapel Hill, NC as a home game for the Tar Heels. Get Duke vs. North Carolina predictions and best bets below as our best bet is on North Carolina’s moneyline as a valuable piece to a two team moneyline parlay.
Duke Vs. North Carolina Prediction
North Carolina enters the contest off of a loss to Georgia Tech, losing 73-74 off the back of a cold shooting night. North Carolina’s perimeter woes crept up again after a decently successful stretch, shooting 29% from deep as well as 36% from the field. Armando Bacot was also a non-factor, scoring just nine points while hauling in nine rebounds in a lackluster performance from the star big man.
Odd performances on the road are common in college basketball and now UNC gets the benefit of going back to their home court on three days’ rest to prepare for this heated rivalry showdown. Better yet, this matchup shapes up to be a bounce back opportunity for their shooting woes as Duke’s defense has been regressing in that department.
The Blue Devils enter the contest ranked 136th in Opposing Effective Field Goal Percentage by allowing opposing offenses to shoot 49.5% per TeamRankings. A large part of their struggles comes from defending the perimeter, allowing opposing offenses to shoot an astonishing 33.7% from deep. Their inability to shift over to cover the open shooter will create high quality scoring opportunities for UNC from deep.
Not only will UNC benefit from higher quality looks from deep for the likes of Cormac Ryan and RJ Davis, but Armando Bacot will also be a benefactor as he gets more room to work with in the interior. Bacot has regressed as of late due to the Tar Heels new scheme of running through Davis, yet he is still very much a scoring threat in his own right. Filipowski has struggled lately defending the interior, now having to take on one of the more physical scoring big men in the nation.
Duke Vs. North Carolina Prediction: North Carolina and Michigan State moneyline parlay
Duke Vs. North Carolina Best Odds
Oddsmakers also believe this is the Tar Heels bounce back spot by opening the Tar Heels as a -5.5 favorite. Bettors believe that number opened a tad too high, backing Duke down to the current number of +4.5. Until UNC can show that they can generate some sort of consistency with their shooting then the spread is a pass for now.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a quick pace as oddsmakers opened the total at 150.5. Bettors have yet to take a firm stand on either side of the number, keeping the total the same since the opener. The over is potentially worth a look as North Carolina’s offense will get higher quality looks from the perimeter, serving as a bounce back spot after Tuesday’s disaster.
Duke Vs. North Carolina Key Matchups
Can North Carolina’s defense limit the quality of shooting looks from Duke?
North Carolina Coverage vs. Duke’s Shooting
Unlike their inability to defend the perimeter, Duke has been phenomenal from three as they currently shoot 38.7% from deep. Their perimeter looks will now be tested against a North Carolina defense who concedes a lowly 29.9% from deep to opposing offenses.
Jerm was locked in tonight @Jeremyroach10
4 dimes pic.twitter.com/414ikGCKkc
— Duke Men’s Basketball (@DukeMBB) January 30, 2024
A large part of their success at defending the perimeter has come from their transition defense, rarely allowing open looks while scrambling back. This will force Duke to beat them in half court sets, slowing down their scoring pace as well as allowing UNC to get set as well. With Bacot being able to hold his own in singular coverage against Filipowski, expect UNC’s guards to sell out with switches to keep a hand in the shooter’s face throughout the duration of the game.
North Carolina Sports Betting Update
North Carolina sports betting is currently legal with online sportsbook operators set to go live noon EST on March 11th. For those eager to sign up before launch, new users can sign up as early as March 1st in order to get a head start before the state goes live. Once sports betting is live and up and running, North Carolina residents will be able to take advantage of new user bonuses like a 20% deposit match offer of up to $1,000 in bonus bets from DraftKings North Carolina and a “Bet $5 Get $200” offer from FanDuel North Carolina to wager on their favorite teams.
For up-to-date North Carolina sports betting coverage — including the best new user promo codes — check out the “NC Sports Betting” tab on Lineups.
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