March 3, 2018
There is one pick today.
Take Duke -7 spread against North Carolina for 3% of the bankroll.
This game should be another war, just as it always is when the North Carolina Tar Heels travel to Cameron Indoor Stadium to take on the Duke Blue Devils. The Heels took the first meeting between these teams this year, however, it wasn't an easy victory by any means as Duke outplayed the Heels on the road, had the better shooting stats, but UNC came away with a couple of runs in the second half to clinch the victory. Some home-cooking was likely a contributing factor for the Tar Heels in the first meeting, but we don't expect they will be as fortunate tonight in the incredibly hostile environment that is Cameron.
Duke has been a strong three-point shooting team this year and the Heels have been one of the worst teams in the nation at defending the arc. The Blue Devils have knocked down 41.4% of their three-pointers here at home and the Heels have allowed teams to connect on 40.5% of their attempts from deep on the road. We believe that will be a big factor in tonight's matchup.
Both of these teams know how to light up the scoreboard with their offense, however, we believe it will be the defense by Duke that will give them the advantage. The Blue Devils have been playing locked-down defense as of late, holding opponents to just 54.6 points per game over their last five games. Meanwhile, the Heels have allowed 79.2 points per game over the same stretch, and if that is the case tonight, Duke should be able to score the basketball at near will as they did in the first meeting.
This is always an entertaining, back and forth matchup between two of the top teams in the country. UNC was able to go on a couple of late scoring runs to clinch the victory in the first meeting, but we believe the roles will be reversed this time. We expect UNC to struggle to find their shots at times, given how well the Duke defense has been playing, while the offense should be able to go on some scoring runs of their own and create separation. There is a reason the oddsmakers have listed the Blue Devils as rather significant favorites in this matchup, despite the storied rivalry, and we feel that is a telling statement. This game may be close in the early going, but Duke will create separation in the second half enroute to a double-digit win and cover.
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