North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Duke Blue Devils Odds & Free Pick

April 2, 8:49 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
UNC +4/Duke -4

The Duke-North Carolina rivalry goes back 102 years and 257 previous meetings, but they’ve never played for higher stakes than when they meet in the second NCAA tournament national semi-final Saturday night at the Superdome. The Blue Devils got through the West Region as the No. 1 seed to reach this Final Four, while the Tar Heels, late bloomers this season, rolled through the East Region as the No. 8 seed. But none of that matters now; Duke is playing to give Coach K the grandest of send-offs while North Carolina would love nothing more than to piss on that party. The Dukies are favored by a couple of buckets for this contest. Who do we like here for our free college basketball Final Four betting pick? NCAA Tournament Betting Odds The Final Four betting lines opened Duke as a four-point favorite over North Carolina, with an over/under of right around 149.5. Early betting action then bumped that total to 151. According to Sagarin’s CBB ratings at, the Blue Devils should be favored by four points for this match-up. How ‘bout that? North Carolina-Duke Final Four Betting Preview The Tar Heels reached this Final Four by disposing of Cinderella St. Peter’s in the East Region final last Sunday 69-49. North Carolina, favored by 8.5 points, scored the first nine points of the game and led 38-19 at the half. The Heels later pushed their advantage to 27 and breezed to the win and the cover. Carolina only shot 41 percent from the field Sunday but held St. Pete’s to just 30 percent FG shooting and out-rebounded the Peacocks 49-33. The Tar Heels opened this NCAA tournament with a 95-63 romp over Marquette, covering at -4, then outlasted defending national champion Baylor 93-86 in overtime, then beat UCLA outright 73-66 as two-point underdogs. So stretching back about six weeks, Carolina is 10-1 SU, 9-2 ATS over its last 11 games. The Heels are also now 8-7, both SU and ATS this season against teams that made this NCAA tournament. Meanwhile, the Blue Devils reached this Final Four by beating a pretty good Arkansas team in the West Region final last Saturday, 78-69. Duke led that game 45-33 at the half, let the Razorbacks get within 53-48 with 13 minutes left but used a 10-0 run to regain control and held on for the win and the cover as a 4.5-point favorite. The Dukies shot 55 percent from the floor Saturday, held Arkansas to just 42 percent FG shooting, and won the battle on the glass 34-25. Duke opened this NCAA tournament with a 78-61 victory over Cal State-Fullerton, although it came up short ATS at -18.5. The Blue Devils then pulled away late to beat Michigan State 85-76, covering at -6, then topped Texas Tech 78-73 in a game that went off as a pick ‘em. Stretching back into early February, Duke is 13-2 SU but only 7-8 ATS over its last 15 games. The Blue Devils are also now 10-4 SU and 8-6 ATS against teams that made this NCAA tournament. North Carolina-Duke Recent History The Tar Heels are 3-1 in both SU and ATS over the last four meetings with the Blue Devils. These teams split two meetings this season, each winning on the other’s home court. Duke won at Chapel Hill back in February 87-67, covering at -3.5, but Carolina won at Cameron in that memorable regular-season finale a month ago 94-81 as an 11-point dog.

Also, both those games played over totals of 152.5 and 153.

NCAA Tournament Betting Trends

  • So far in this NCAA tournament, the favorites are 42-21 SU and 29-34 ATS.
  • Additionally, in this NCAA tournament, higher seeds are 39-21 SU and 26-34 ATS.

Totals Report The overs are 21-15 in Tar Heels games this season, which are averaging 151 total points. The overs are 21-16 in Blue Devils games this season, which are averaging 146 points. The overs are 6-0 over the last six meetings between these two teams. So far this NCAA tournament, the unders are 35-29.

North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Duke Blue Devils

Duke won the first meeting between these teams this season by 20 points, while North Carolina won the second meeting by 13. We feel this game will be much closer than those two. And yet we believe the Blue Devils are the better, more complete team in this match-up; they shoot the ball better and play better defense. We don’t give a schnit about Coach K’s final run toward a title, but we are betting Duke here, minus the points. 

Free Pick: 
Take Duke -4