Duke Blue Devils vs North Carolina Tar Heels Spread, Analysis & PickJosh Bailey
One of the greatest rivalries in college basketball resumes on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 9:00 pm ET when the 20th-ranked Duke Blue Devils (19-6, 8-4 ACC) travel down Tobacco Road to take on the fifth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels (21-4, 10-2 ACC).
A Closer Look At How To Bet the No. 20 Duke Blue Devils vs No. 5 North Carolina Tar Heels College Hoops Spread
The college basketball betting spread favorts North Carolina by 6.5-points to beat Duke. The Blue Devils aren’t nearly as formidable this season wince they were last March when they beat North Carolina. Public consensus is evenly split with 48% on North Carolina Tar Heels to cover. The point spread opened at UNC -7. The line movement indicates more money is being placed on the side of the Duke Blue Devils to cover.
In their previous two meetings, both teams covered once. Head-to-head matchups have trended over (2 over, 0 under).
What: Duke Blue Devils (19-6) at No. 9 North Carolina Tar Heels (21-4)
When: Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Kickoff: 9:00 PM ET
Where: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Stadium: Dean E. Smith Center
Spread: UNC -6.5
Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: Duke vs North Carolina
Bet The #20 Duke Blue Devils Because…
Whatever ailed the Blue Devils’ earlier in the season, doesn’t ail them now. Duke has run off 4 straight wins and 5 out of its last 6. The Blue Devils most impressive win occurred in their last, a stunning 65 to 64 win over Virginia. Many college hoops handicappers, this one included, thought that the Blue Devils’ freshman would fold under the patient, defensive giants that are the Virginia Cavaliers. Instead, Duke found a way to beat Virginia at its own game. If the Dookies can do that, they should be able to handle North Carolina’s front line.
Bet The #5 North Carolina Tar Heels Because…
North Carolina’s front line is much, much better than Duke’s. The Tar Heels front line is led by the brilliant Brice Johnson. Johnson averages 16.4 points and 10 boards per game. When Johnson has a bad game, Kennedy Meeks or Justin Jackson will step it up. Both guys are capable of scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 boards a game. Although Duke is hot, it hasn’t faced a team capable of burying it in the paint the way that the Tar Heels can on Wednesday night.
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
Although North Carolina’s front line is capable of putting a big time beat down on the Blue Devils, the real reason to like North Carolina in this game has to do with guards Joel Berry III and Marcus Paige. Paige remains one of the top guards in the ACC even though he’s having a bad season by his own standards.
Paige has the ability to guard Duke’s Grayson Allen, a talented guard with some of the best moves in the game. Allen gets to the rim like it’s nobody’s business. But Paige has the ability in man to man to guard Allen one on one. That’s going to be huge for North Carolina who only needs to stop Allen from penetrating into the lane in order to beat Duke by a healthy margin in the most classic of all ACC matchups. In Duke vs North Carolina on Wednesday night, I’m backing North Carolina.