North Carolina vs. Duke Spread Analysis, Prediction

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2014

The most exciting rivalry in college basketball is renewed as North Carolina visits Duke on the final weekend of the regular season.

The Tar Heels are out to win their 13th straight game, while the Blue Devils are looking to keep their perfect home record (16-0) intact.

Duke lays a ton of points here in this always-emotional contest.

 

Duke UNC Point Spread

Duke opened as a huge eight-point home favorite in a match where handicappers see lots of value on the underdog Tar Heels. The total was 147. (Line updates and matchup report stats).

 

Odds Shark Prediction

Three of the past four meetings have been blowouts, this one stays close. 76-74 Duke

 

Why North Carolina Can Cover the Spread

The Heels didn't just beat Duke the first time out, they actually outplayed the Devils wire-to-wire. UNC (23-7 SU, 16-14 ATS) has played better basketball in the second half of the season than Duke and has the momentum flowing right now.

UNC has covered nine of 10 against winning teams and they own a winning spread streak against Duke.

 

Why Duke Can Cover the Spread

Jabari Parker might be playing his final home game in front of the Cameron Crazies. He's fully capable of taking over a basketball game, and since he somewhat tanked down the stretch in the first meeting, he will be out to avenge the loss and his performance in this game.

They are ranked No. 4 in the nation and can cement their Madness position with an emphatic win.

 

Smart Pick

This is way too many points to give to a red-hot North Carolina team. Granted, we're talking about an angry Duke team (23-7, 18-12) that just lost Wednesday to Wake Forest, but the Heels will be right there ready to pounce.

UNC has covered nine of its last 12 games, all in conference play, while the Devils are mired in an 0-4 ATS slide. Also, North Carolina has cashed its road ticket at Duke seven of the last eight visits. The dog is the play here.

 

Power Rankings

Duke No. 5, North Carolina No. 19, per Odds Shark power numbers.

 

Trends

  • North Carolina is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 9 of North Carolina's last 11 games when playing Duke
  • North Carolina is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 games when playing on the road against Duke
  • Both teams on losing ATS skids (Duke 0-3-1, UNC 0-3

Note: All spread and odds data powered by Odds Shark. Get the free odds and bet tracker app at Odds Shark.

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