North Carolina vs Duke Odds, Picks & Prediction | Total Pick to Make

North Carolina vs Duke Odds, Picks & Prediction | Total Pick to Make article feature image

Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Caleb Love (UNC)

North Carolina vs Duke Odds

Saturday, Feb. 4
6:30 p.m. ET
North Carolina Odds
-105o / -115u
Duke Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Saturday night's matchup between North Carolina and Duke will be the 259th all-time meeting between the two schools separated by just 10 miles of Highway 15, also known as Tobacco Road.

Although North Carolina owns a 143-115 all-time series lead, Duke and North Carolina are deadlocked at 50 wins a piece in their last 100 meetings.

This season, both teams are in a similar deadlock in the ACC standings, as they both sit in a tie for fifth place at 7-4.

For North Carolina, this will be a great opportunity to bounce back from a loss to Pittsburgh which broke its five-game conference winning streak. The Tar Heels were only able to connect on five of their 27 three-point attempts.

On the other side, Duke has put together a two-game winning streak with wins over Georgia Tech and Wake Forest. The Blue Devils have been led by center Kyle FIlipowski, who has scored no fewer than 16 points in his last six games.

To pick which team will get the upper hand in one of the greatest rivalries in all of college basketball, let's take a look at the odds and make a prediction for North Carolina vs. Duke.

North Carolina Tar Heels

North Carolina's offense has been extremely dependent on its ability to create penetration and get to the free-throw line. The Tar Heels are scoring 23.1% of their total points from the charity stripe, the ninth-highest rate in the country.

This pattern of getting to the free-throw line is led by All-American Armando Bacot, who is drawing an average of 6.8 fouls per game, the 20th-highest rate among D-1 players. This is important to note as Bacot squares of with Duke's Filipowski, who has limited himself to committing just 3.4 fouls per contest.

Duke's defense has been effective at defending without fouling, allowing opponents to shoot just 24.15% of their total field goal attempts from the free-throw line, the 25th-lowest rate in the country.

Additionally, look for Duke to add to North Carolina's poor outside shooting numbers as the Blue Devils are allowing their opponents to shoot just 30.1% from deep, the 29th-lowest rate nationally.

Offensively North Carolina has relied on its ability to get to the rim, which will be difficult against a Duke defense allowing teams to shoot just 52.93% on near-proximity shots, according to Haslametrics.

Because of this, I expect North Carolina to see some offensive regression as a result of settling for low-percentage outside shots.

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Duke Blue Devils

Just as North Carolina has used its ability to get to the free-throw line to catalyze their offense, Duke has used its offensive rebounding.

The Blue Devils rank second nationally in offensive rebounding percentage, creating second chances on 38.2% of their field-goal attempts. This is important to note as Bacot and the Tar Heels are one of the best rebounding teams in the country.

The Tar Heels only allow 23.9% of their opponents' shots to result in an offensive rebound, the 19th-lowest rate in the country. Specifically, Bacot leads the ACC in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage at 16.2% and 30.2%, respectively.

Without these second chances you are looking at a Duke offense ranking 252nd in 3-point shooting, which results in just 28.4% of its points coming from beyond the arc, 259th nationally.

The Blue Devils combine this poor shooting with an offense ranking 269th in adjusted tempo, averaging just 65.5 possessions per game.

Lastly, Duke has been able to create in the half-court, scoring 56.4% of its baskets off an assists, 54th nationally. Unfortunately, this is another area North Carolina has excelled on the defensive end, giving up only 43.5% of its points off an assist, the 34th-lowest rate in the country.

Given the rebounding ability of the Tar Heels, I expect Duke to be looking for answers on the offensive end.

North Carolina vs Duke Betting Pick

In what is always a closely contested, emotional matchup, I expect both defenses to have the advantage.

North Carolina has relied on its ability to get to the free-throw line, an area in which Duke has been disciplined all season.

On the other side, Duke has needed to create second opportunities to jump-start an offense ranking 240th in average possession length at more than 18 seconds. But Bacot and North Carolina have been masterful on the defensive glass.

With all that being said, I will gladly invest in the under in a rivalry game where both defenses will be locked in.

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