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Betting North Carolina Duke - Duke And North Carolina Play For ACC Championship

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/10/2014 4:24:05 AM

The Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels have formed the best rivalry in college basketball. They will play for the Atlantic Coast Conference title this Saturday night.

North Carolina Tar Heels @ Duke Blue Devils - Saturday, March 3
Sports betting line: No line

Why North Carolina Will Win

The college basketball betting experts who follow the Atlantic Coast Conference for a living know that Duke will push North Carolina in this game. This game is regularly close no matter how well or how poorly the two teams are performing. This game is at Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke’s normally imposing home court. However, Duke has lost two ACC home games this season while needing a 20-point comeback to beat North Carolina State and another late comeback to beat Virginia Tech in overtime. The Tar Heels are longer in the paint with John Henson and Tyler Zeller against the Plumlee brothers of Duke. Harrison Barnes on the wing has struggled for portions of this season, but he’s still a formidable player who can be counted on to perform by UNC head coach Roy Williams.

The key will be the performance of point guard Kendall Marshall, who possesses great court vision but who can also get too amped up and commit stacks of turnovers when he’s not on his game. Marshall played really well in the first game between these two teams, so he will probably have the comfort zone he needs to orchestrate the Tar Heels’ offense. That is likely to be the difference in this contest. As long as Zeller can get his touches inside and the Heels can pound Duke on the glass, they should have just enough perimeter scoring to prevail.

Why Duke Will Win

When you do your homework and assess your sports bet on this game, it’s necessary to point out that North Carolina is clearly operating at a deficit relative to Duke in terms of three-point shooting. The recent evolution of statistical research in basketball has focused on a number of terms and concepts, one of them being “effective field goal percentage,” a metric that includes three-point shooting in an adjusted composite calculation. Duke has been a much better and more prolific three-point shooting team than North Carolina this season. The Blue Devils can score in bunches with fewer possessions. North Carolina is in a situation where it has to hit perimeter shots to win; Duke will pack in its defense not only to deal with the Zeller-Henson duo, but to help on the glass against the Tar Heels’ length. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is going to force Carolina to make threes, and if the Tar Heels can’t do it, Duke is simply going to win this game.

Who Will Win

It’s true that North Carolina collapsed in the final minutes of the Feb. 8 meeting between these two teams, perhaps giving Duke a small psychological edge. However, North Carolina has the better team with imposing size near the glass. Rebounding matters a great deal in close games, and that’s why North Carolina’s prowess on the boards is going to make the difference. Pick the Tar Heels to recover and win the ACC’s regular-season championship.

College Basketball Betting Pick: North Carolina

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