The No. 5 Duke Blue Devils (24-6, 12-5 ACC) and No. 9 North Carolina Tar Heels (22-8, 11-6 ACC) will face off at Cameron Indoor Stadium to bring the regular season to an end. The Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 164 points with Duke set as a 7-point favorite. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 3, 2018, and it can be seen on ESPN.
North Carolina Tar Heels at Duke Blue Devils ATS Preview
The last time the Tar Heels played, they lost a close one to the Miami (FL) Hurricanes, 91-88. With 31 points on 11-for-17 shooting, Joel Berry II was the top scorer from either team. Miami (FL) had a better turnover percentage (12.9 vs. 16.5). North Carolina, meanwhile, had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (39.3 vs. 31.0).
The Blue Devils are hoping for a better outcome after their 64-63 loss to the Virginia Tech Hokies in their last matchup. Grayson Allen was the games leading scorer with 22 points on 6-for-18 shooting. Virginia Tech did an excellent job of making free throws (15-19; 78.9 percent). Duke, on the other hand, held the Hokies to an offensive rebounding percentage of 17.2 (below their season average of 23.8).
This matchup figures to be a high-scoring affair as two of the nations top offenses face off. Duke currently ranks third with 121.1 points per 100 possessions and North Carolina is 17th (116.3). Moreover, the Tar Heels rank 275th in free throw attempt (FTA) rate (0.212), while the Blue Devils rank eighth in opponents FTA rate (0.170).
Games involving these teams tend to finish over the O/U total. North Carolina games have finished over 58.6 percent of the time, while Duke games have finished over 57.1 percent of the time. Both teams have solid straight up (SU) records (22-8 for North Carolina; 24-6 for Duke), but the Blue Devils have the edge against the spread (ATS). Duke is 18-10 ATS, while the Tar Heels are 14-11-4.
Berry II has taken his game to another level as of late for North Carolina, averaging 19.8 points, 3.2 assists and 1.2 steals over the last five games.
These teams have already met once this season. The two teams combined to score 160 points in that game, which was under the projected point total of 168.5. The Tar Heels won 82-78, covering as 1-point favorites. The Tar Heels 2.4 turnover percentage was their largest strength over the Blue Devils, who had a mark of 10.6. Marvin Bagley III recorded a double-double in the defeat, with 15 points and 16 rebounds.
North Carolina Tar Heels at Duke Blue Devils ATS Prediction
Free Basketball Pick: SU Winner – North Carolina, ATS Winner – North Carolina, O/U – Over
- The Blue Devils rank 41st in steals per game (7.4) while the Tar Heels rank 179th (5.5).
- North Carolina averages 42.7 rebounds per game, which ranks first in the NCAA. Duke ranks 48th in rebounds allowed per game (32.3).
- Duke is 9-4 ATS at home, while North Carolina is 6-7-2 ATS on the road.
- The total has gone under in 7 of the Blue Devils’ 13 home games, while 8 of the Tar Heels’ 15 road games have gone under.
- Duke averages 17.6 assists per game, which ranks 10th in the NCAA. North Carolina ranks 221st in assists allowed per game (15.0).
- The Blue Devils average 5.3 blocks per game, which ranks 14th in the NCAA. The Tar Heels rank 193rd in blocks allowed per game (4.6).
- Duke averages 22.0 three pointers per game, which ranks 148th in the nation. North Carolina ranks 290th in three pointers allowed per game (26.0).
- Duke is 4-1 ATS with 5 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, North Carolina is 3-1-1 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under.
- The Blue Devils average margin of victory in their last five games has been 14.4, down from 15.8 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Tar Heels have scored an average of 87.6 points per game (4.0 above their season average) and allowed an average of 79.2 points per game (5.2 above their season average).