North Carolina Tar Heels at Duke Blue Devils Pick

February 20, 9:00 PM EST

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Duke -9

Tobacco road rivals will meet up for the first time this season on Wednesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Top-ranked Duke will host number-eight ranked North Carolina in a huge Atlantic Coast Conference showdown. Both teams still have a shot at winning the regular season title, and this game will have a lot to say about the regular season champ.

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Duke comes into this game with an 11-1 record in ACC play, and have won nine straight games overall. The Blue Devils have lost just two games all season long, and are outscoring teams by close to 20 points per game. North Carolina brings a 10-2 conference record into this game, and have gone 20-5 overall on the season. The Tar Heels beat the Blue Devils in two of the three meetings a season ago.

Duke Freshmen Carrying Team

If you’ve paid any attention at all to the college basketball season, you know that Duke has three of the most talented players in the country. The three freshmen are joined by freshman point guard Tre’ Jones, and they do just about everything for this Duke team. The Blue Devils are averaging 86.4 points per game this season, and Coach K also has them locking down on the defensive end as well.

Forward RJ Barrett leads the Duke team with 22.7 points per game and notched a triple-double in the victory over N.C. State on Saturday. Zion Williamson has chipped in with 22.4 points per game and has athleticism and strength that is unmatched by anyone in the country. Tre' Jones sets the tone on defense, and Cam Reddish is an elite shooter. If Duke is going to win this game, it will be these four players that will lead them.

UNC Won’t Slow Down

Most teams are terrified to try to play the game at Duke’s pace, but that won’t be the case with the Tar Heels. North Carolina is averaging 87.5 points per game this season, and they aren’t afraid to take shots in a hurry. The Tar Heels are shooting better than 38 percent from the three-point line, and they will shoot a ton of them in this game. Look for North Carolina to try to score before Duke can set their defense.

The Duke freshmen get all of the hype and publicity, but North Carolina has a pair of freshmen studs as well. Coby White and Nassir Little have combined to score better than 26 points per game this season, and they are capable of carrying the offense. Senior guard Cameron Johnson leads the team with 16.7 points per game and is making close to 48 percent of his three-point attempts. The Tar Heels have plenty of offense to keep this game close.

North Carolina at Duke Prediction 02/20/2019

Duke and North Carolina games are usually instant classics, and this should be much of the same. This will be an incredibly fast-paced game, with plenty of NBA type talent on the floor. North Carolina will keep it close for a while, but eventually, Duke will wear them out.

Free Pick: 
Bet the Duke -9
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