Duke vs. North Carolina Final Four Odds: What’s Changed Since Last Matchup?
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images. Pictured: Paolo Banchero, Duke Blue Devils
Want to know where the public is leaning for the first matchup between Duke and North Carolina in men’s NCAA Tournament history?
It depends on where you look and it’s completely across the board.
At FanDuel and DraftKings, Duke is a 4-point favorite and getting 51 and 56 percent of the money, respectively. But at PointsBet and BetMGM, Duke is a 4.5-point favorite and the money is on UNC — 63 percent and 74 percent, respectively.
A lot has changed from March 5, when 51 percent of the money at BetMGM was on Duke as 10.5-point favorites against the Tar Heels in Mike Krzyzewski’s last game in Cameron Indoor. UNC went on to win by 13.
So what happened?
Action Network’s college basketball expert, Stuckey, attributes the previous large spread to North Carolina’s form and the drama around Coach K’s final home game. North Carolina was not playing well heading into the game, yet still came away with a convincing win. Given that result, Stuckey says the Tar Heels deserved a bump, “and they’ve continued the momentum through last week and have arguably had the most impressive run in the tournament so far.”
That’s been confirmed by some of the analytics sites, like Torvik, which reflects that UNC has been the best team in the country since March 1, adjusted for opponent.
“Everyone seems to have forgotten about the Duke defensive issues that were a hot topic leading into the tourney,” Stuckey said. “Duke has got by mainly on its offense and its defense has yet to face an elite offense. All four opponents were ranked outside the Top 30 adjusted offensive efficient performance by KenPom. UNC is an elite offense that could expose those deficiencies as they did in Cameron.”
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