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Duke vs North Carolina Free Pick

February 8, 2018

This is a classic NCAA basketball matchup so we had to do a preview and free picks analysis for it. These two teams really have a strong rivalry and pull out all the stops when facing one another. Here are our free picks and preview of North Carolina vs Duke basketball matchup for February 8, 2018.

Tonight at 8:00 pm EST at the Dean Smith Center in North Carolina, The Blue Devils of Duke are the visiting team and they are taking on the Tarheels of North Carolina. The spread was issued at Duke -1 and now has swung all the way to UNC -2. That is a large swing for a marquee game. The total is 166 points.

The Teams

Duke is 19-4 straight up and 13-9 against the spread. UNC is 17-7 U and 12-10-1 ATS. Duke scores 89 PPG (leads the nation) on offense and allows only 72. UNC also allows 72 but they score an average of 82 PPG. The initial sportsbook spread reflected these numbers after factoring the home court advantage.

Duke is coming of quite the shocking loss at MSG to St. John’s. Duke was favored by 10.5 points but lost straight up. It isn’t that big of a shocker for those of us who have been watching these teams for decades. St. John’s loves the late season big team match up in the arena.  I am thinking that this loss is why the public was quick to bet against Duke when this UNC/Duke line was issued.

UNC is coming off an easy 36 point win against a bad Pitt team. Before that they had lost three games in a row, albeit to very tough conference foes: VaTech, NC State and Clemson.

Neither team has played inspired basketball as of late but I think tonight they will get their energy up for this game. It is a nationally televised game in prime time.

Head to Head

Although UNC leads the all-time series 135-110, The Blue Devils have won 13 of the last 18 meetings. Coach K of Duke is 18-12 against Roy Williams coached UNC teams. Duke is 4-1-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing North Carolina. Duke is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games when playing North Carolina. The total has gone OVER in 6 of Duke’s last 8 games when playing North Carolina. Duke is 6-1-1 ATS in its last 8 games when playing on the road against North Carolina.

Conclusion

You can see the trend here. Duke pretty much owns UNC on their court. Duke is a better team this year. The peculiar thing here is that the public betting is lopsided on Duke 68%. But the line moved all the way to UNC -2. I am assuming there were some large sharp bets on UNC earlier or they are expecting them late. Either way, I cannot see a UNC win here. Take Duke +2 or take them on the moneyline which pays +115. As far as the Over Under is concerned, I like the Under. The teams will tighten up a little when playing each other and there will be offensive fireworks , yes, but enough to score 166 points? I don’t believe so. They will have to be hitting to score that much and I tend to think the value is on at least one of the teams not firing on all cylinders.

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