ESPN Basketball Schedule: North Carolina Vs. Duke Predictions, Odds, Preview

Joe DuffyAnalyst IFebruary 9, 2011

Sports handicapper answer the question whether Duke will get enough baskets to cover
Sports handicapper answer the question whether Duke will get enough baskets to coverStreeter Lecka/Getty Images Senior Sports Handicapper Matt Rivers has a point spread prediction Wednesday on the big North Carolina-Duke rivalry. It is on North Carolina (+10) at Duke.

Duke at Cameron Indoor certainly can whack any opponent and that includes rival North Carolina. But I will give Roy Williams’ squad some credit for suddenly looking pretty darn good. The first half of the season was fairly underachieving and it looked as if they were having somewhat of a repeat of last season’s debacle. But recently Harrison Barnes and the fellas have stepped things up and after winning five straight and 10 of their last 11; why not grab around double digits?

Duke was last season’s National Champion and with Kyrie Irving coming in probably deserved to be the top ranked team in the nation. But Coach K’s boys have not been great all of the time and there have been some chinks in the armor. They are still better than their Tobacco Road enemies even with Jon Scheyer leaving and the injury to Kyrie Irving, but the gap has certainly narrowed a ton since last season and with the way the Heels have revved things up of late. I’ll take my chances on them tonight plus this handsome number. UNC is 17-5 overall and boasts the 7-1 ACC mark. The players should be a lot more confident and prepared for the Dookies and the Cameron Crazies this season and in revenge after last season’s whackings are going to compete in this thing.

I’m not thinking the North Carolina program is all the way back and ready to win this game by any means, but the Blue Devils aren’t invincible at all right now. With a whole lot of confidence, I’ll grab the healthy sum of points with a pretty good team and take my chances.

Top expert pick on this game: North Carolina.

For more information: When you’re a four-point dog and are up by 32 at the half and win outright by 34 you feel pretty good!

It’s now a 10-3 overall run after the 76ers did what they did. This comes on the heels of the 13-4 season ending football run and I’m now ready to Raise that Bar and smack around the Crookie one more time. A pair of humpday winners including a major 400,000* release from Boulder between a couple of struggling clubs in Texas A&M and Colorado along with a bonus 300,000* with Louisville-Notre Dame. Tuck the kids and wife in, grab a few cold ones and put on the U tonight and watch the cash roll in. Get Matt Rivers picks