Duke (26-4) at North Carolina (25-5)
When: Saturday, March 9th, 2019
Where: Dean Smith Center,
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Time: 6:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: North Carolina -1/167
Open an Account at Bovada Sportsbook to get up to a $250 Deposit Bonus!
When the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels meet, it usually means something meaningful is on the line besides pride, and Saturday night’s tilt will be no different. Both teams are fighting for the ACC title and a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. Entering Saturday’s action, the Virginia Cavaliers are tied atop the conference standings with North Carolina, while Duke sits just one-game back. Virginia should take care of Louisville at home, which means second place is most likely on the line here. The Tar Heels are one of the hottest teams in the country right now, ripping off six-straight victories including an 88-72 win at Duke on Feb. 20 as 10-point underdogs. We had Carolina in that game with our free pick for that day, but might have gotten some help when likely No. 1 NBA draft pick Zion Williamson went out for Duke in the first minute of the game. The Blue Devils couldn’t fight off adversity in that one and have not looked the same without their superstar. Duke’s offensive efficiency has dropped and they are coming off a potential disaster when they held off Wake Forest 71-70 at home as 24.5-point favorites. North Carolina leads the all-time series 138-111, including a 62-36 mark in Chapel Hill.
The Blue Devils trailed by 10 points with 16 minutes left against Wake Forest before rallying for the win as Chaundee Brown’s game-winning attempt rimmed out at the buzzer. With Williamson out, RJ Barrett is carrying the scoring load and the ACC’s leading scorer poured in 28 against the Demon Deacons. Tre Jones was the only other Blue Devil in double-digits (13 points) but also had to leave the game for a few minutes after banging knees with a Wake Forest player. Duke will need a better effort from Cam Reddish, who had one of his worst games of the season, missing his first six shots while being called for charging three times and finishing with six points in 22 minutes.
The Tar Heels’ six-game winning streak not only includes the win over Duke, but a 77-59 route of surging Florida State as seven-point favorites, and most recently a 79-66 win at Boston College on Tuesday. North Carolina jumped out to a 48-25 halftime lead on the Eagles and were led by senior guard Cameron Johnson, who recorded a double-double with 22 points and a season-high 12 rebounds. North Carolina ranks second in the nation in rebounding margin at +10.2, and scorched B.C. 60-35 on the glass. This is the first time in school history that North Carolina has reached 15 ACC victories.
I’m a little surprised that this line is only three. I was thinking at least five or six before it came out and I was going to take North Carolina anyway. They controlled the first meeting in Durham and Duke has looked very beatable with Williamson out. I say the Tar Heels roll in this one.
Pick: North Carolina -3
Blue Devils are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Saturday games.
Blue Devils are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
Blue Devils are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Blue Devils are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Blue Devils are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
Tar Heels are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games following a ATS win.
Tar Heels are 18-7-2 ATS in their last 27 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.
Tar Heels are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games overall.
Tar Heels are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 vs. Atlantic Coast.
Tar Heels are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games following a straight up win.
Under is 4-0 in Blue Devils last 4 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Under is 5-1 in Blue Devils last 6 games following a ATS loss.
Under is 4-1 in Blue Devils last 5 vs. Atlantic Coast.
Under is 5-2-1 in Blue Devils last 8 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Under is 5-2-1 in Blue Devils last 8 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
Under is 34-16-2 in Blue Devils last 52 overall.
Under is 4-0 in Tar Heels last 4 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Under is 5-2 in Tar Heels last 7 overall.
Under is 5-2 in Tar Heels last 7 vs. Atlantic Coast.
Under is 7-3 in Tar Heels last 10 Saturday games.
Under is 9-4 in Tar Heels last 13 games following a ATS win.
Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings.
Blue Devils are 9-3-1 ATS in the last 13 meetings in North Carolina.
Road team is 18-7-1 ATS in the last 26 meetings.