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Can No. 1 Duke Overcome Poor Shooting To Topple No. 8 North Carolina?

Duke vs UNC Betting Odds February 20

The greatest rivalry in basketball will be the main course for a stacked college basketball card as the No. 8-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels head down Tobacco Road to face the No. 1-ranked Duke Blue Devils. The Tar Heels rebounded after a tough home loss to Virginia by stomping Wake Forest by 38 points. But can they stop Duke’s duo of Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett, who are combining to average 45.1 points per game? Duke has won its last nine games, including two impressive wins over Virginia.

In the last 102 meetings between these teams, they each have 51 wins so you would think the spread would be closer but oddsmakers have opened Duke as a 9-point favorite with a total of 166.5.

North Carolina vs Duke Game Center

Standout Stats

  • Duke is rated 349th out of 353 NCAA D-1 schools in three-point shooting percentage in home games (27.1 percent).
  • North Carolina is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 games at Cameron Indoor Stadium and is 1-1 in two games as an underdog this season.
  • North Carolina allows 25.2 three-point attempts per game (rated 306th in NCAA) and allows teams to shoot 33.8 percent from long range (rated 139th).
  • Duke’s RJ Barrett and Zion Williamson are ranked first and second in the ACC in points scored per game (22.7, 22.4).
  • North Carolina is averaging 27.4 points per game from three-point range this season but Duke limits teams to 19.2 points per game from beyond the arc.
  • Since conference play started, Duke has gone 6-1 SU in seven home games and has beaten teams by an average of 15 points per game.
  • Duke is only averaging 14.4 fouls per home game this season but North Carolina commits 19.1 fouls in road games.
  • Duke owns a +11.4 point differential in the first half of 16 home games this season.

My Best Bet for UNC vs Duke

Duke -9

As a Tar Heels fan, it pains me to say I will be backing Duke in this game and from watching both of these teams a lot this season, I worry that Carolina will have difficulty stopping Duke’s offense. The Tar Heels allow far too many three-pointers to be considered an elite defense and although the Blue Devils haven’t shot a great percentage, they will likely make up for it by the number of attempts they take.

On the flip side, North Carolina relies heavily on the three-point shot and Duke’s perimeter defense is one of the best in the NCAA. I think the athleticism of Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett will overwhelm the Tar Heels’ defense and will likely get Carolina in foul trouble. Stick with Duke in this one. The Blue Devils are getting better each game and just beat a much better Virginia team by 10 points in the Cavaliers’ building and Virginia just beat UNC by nine at Chapel Hill.