Tar Heels at Blue Devils Pick & Predictions 3/9/24

by | Last updated Mar 9, 2024 | cbb

(24-6, 18-12), 3/9/24
When: 6:30 pm ET Saturday, March 9
Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium
Spread: NC +5.5/Duke -5.5
Over/under: 150.5

It’s the big game of the year in the ACC, as so often so, when North Carolina and Duke conclude their regular season slates Saturday night in Durham.

The Tar Heels just clinched at least a share of the ACC’s regular-season title but the Blue Devils can forge a tie with a win Saturday night.

Also, there’s NCAA tournament cred to be won. Also, it’s Carolina-Duke. Also, we’ll be watching anyway, so we might as well try to make a couple bucks in the process.

Here’s how and why we’re playing this game.

NCAAB Betting Odds

Saturday’s CBB betting market opened Duke at -4.5 over UNC, with an over/under of 150 points. Both numbers have increased in the early betting action with UNC now getting 5.5 and the total notching up to 150.5.

North Carolina-Duke Betting Preview

The Tar Heels ride a five-game winning streak into Saturday after disposing of Notre Dame Tuesday night 84-51. North Carolina, favored by 16 points, led by 16 at the half, then scored the first 16 points out of the locker room and breezed home from there.

The Heels “only” shot 45 percent from the floor Tuesday night but held the Irish to just 31 percent FG shooting.

Two games ago Carolina rallied from a 10-point, second-half deficit to beat North Carolina State 79-70. Three games ago the Tar Heels struggled with a down Miami team, won 75-71 but whiffed ATS at -15.

At 16-3 in conference play North Carolina is trying to clinch the ACC regular-season title outright and claim the top seed for next week’s conference tournament. And at 24-6 overall the Heels are hoping to secure at least a top-2 seed for the upcoming NCAA tournament.

Meanwhile the Blue Devils ride a three-game winning streak into Saturday after beating NC State Monday 79-64. Duke, favored by six points on the road, fell down 9-0 out of the gate and still trailed 46-45 with about 12 minutes to go. But the Blue Devils hit the gas, outscored the Wolfpack 34-18 from there and covered.

Duke started cold Monday night but ended up shooting 47 percent from the floor.

Two games ago the Blue Devils drubbed Virginia 73-48 and covered at -10. Three games ago Duke ran away from Louisville 84-59 and covered at -20.

Going back a bit further the Dukies are 8-1 both SU and ATS their last nine times out.

At 15-4 in conference play Duke can claim a share of the ACC’s regular-season title with a win Saturday night. And at 24-6 overall the Blue Devils remain right in the hunt for a top seed for the upcoming Big Dance.

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North Carolina-Duke Recent History

These longtime rivals are 5-5 over their last 10 meetings. Last year the Blue Devils swept two games from the Tar Heels but Carolina took the first meeting between the teams this season about five weeks ago 93-84.

The Heels led that game almost the whole way, often by double digits, and covered at -5.

Also, that game played over a total of 153 as both teams shot 50 percent from the floor.

College Basketball Betting Trends

North Carolina is 7-2 SU, 5-3-1 ATS on the road this season.

Duke is 15-2 SU, 11-6 ATS at home.

Totals Report

Unders are 17-13 in Heels games this season, which are averaging 151 total points.

Unders are 18-12 in Dukies games, which are averaging 147 points.

Free College Basketball Betting Pick

We’re trying to ignore all the noise and the numbers and avoid over-thinking this one; North Carolina is a game better in the conference standings, it out-played Duke a few weeks ago and it’s catching a couple of buckets. We like the Heels plus the points for Saturday night.

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