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Duke vs North Carolina Betting Odds – Devils or Desperation?

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/9/2010 2:13:17 PM

NCAA Basketball Odds: Pick Duke

Online betting cappers know it’s natural to side with the home team in college basketball, but this Wednesday on Tobacco Road, that piece of logic might not hold up under scrutiny. One of college basketball’s greatest rivalries resumes, as Duke travels to the Dean Dome to take on North Carolina in the sport’s most celebrated regular-season battle. If Michigan-Ohio State is the crown jewel of college football, Blue Devils-Tar Heels stands as the ultimate showcase in the realm of NCAA hoops.

WHAT: NCAA basketball betting
WHEN: Wednesday, February 10th, 9:05 PM ET
WHERE: Dean E. Smith Center – Chapel Hill, NC

KEY STAT: North Carolina has lost six of its last seven games

The Storyline – Duke vs North Carolina betting odds breakdown
Sportsbook odds are accounting for two basic realities in the hours before tip-off: On one side of the ledger is the fact that the homestanding Tar Heels simply stink right now. Much like the train wreck that’s unfolding with the Texas Longhorns, North Carolina has simply lost confidence over the past month. Texas flatly crumbled at Connecticut a few weeks back, and coach Roy Williams’ Tar Heels did the same thing in a stunning Jan. 4 setback against the College of Charleston.

On that night, UNC owned a 72-61 lead with roughly four minutes left in regulation, and somehow managed to squander that 11-point advantage. Ever since that point in time, the Heels have been horrible. Their guards – particularly Larry Drew II – have not provided good ballhandling or leadership. Forwards Deon Thompson and Ed Davis were good complementary players on last year’s national title team, but they’re not leading men… at least not at this point in their evolution. Carolina – at 2-6 in the ACC and just 13-10 overall – is in freefall. That’s the best argument for Duke.

On the other hand, coach Mike Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils have won just two road games this season, and one of them was a very ugly 66-63 win over Boston College this past Saturday. Duke’s defense usually gets shredded on the road, and so – in a rivalry game against an amped-up opponent – there’s no guarantee that the Blue Devils will be able to keep the Tar Heels mired in misery. North Carolina could legitimately pull the upset on Wednesday night.

Offensive Matchups – Duke vs North Carolina betting odds breakdown
The Blue Devils average 81.4 points per game, while the Tar Heels average 80 points a contest. With that having been said, North Carolina’s averages have been skewed as a result of a 103-point performance against cupcake-rich Presbyterian and a 98-point effort against Marshall. UNC hasn’t scored more than 78 points in its first eight ACC games, so it’s clear that Carolina’s average should be in the low-to-mid 70s, all things considered.
Duke has scored 86 points (Georgia Tech) and 90 points (Wake Forest) in ACC play, so it stands to reason that this team can generate more rhythm and flow in its halfcourt sets. Forward Kyle Singler is an inside-outside threat who can distort both the shape and the priority system of an opposing defense. He’ll be very valuable for Coach K in this game.

Betting Edge: Duke

Defensive Matchups – Duke vs North Carolina betting odds breakdown
Carolina surrenders an average of 73.9 points per game, while Duke gives up just 63 points per contest. This is a no-brainer: Even though Duke’s defense can be horrible at times, North Carolina doesn’t own the weapons or – more specifically – the brawn needed to take advantage of that fact. Duke can be overwhelmed with pure interior power, but UNC’s big men like to play a more finesse-oriented style. All in all, the Tar Heels don’t seem to have the makeup they need to win this rivalry game.

As for Duke, “Team Coach K” needs to learn about the virtues of the road. This is a great defensive team at home in Cameron Indoor Stadium, so just imagine how relieved Roy Williams is to get the Blue Devils on his home court. UNC hopes that Duke – removed from its own building – will play nervous basketball throughout the game.

Betting Edge: Duke

Notable Injuries – Duke vs North Carolina betting odds breakdown

No serious injuries exist at this time.

Betting Edge: Even

Betting Prediction – Duke vs North Carolina betting odds breakdown

North Carolina will come strong in this game and display off-the-charts emotions. Duke might struggle occasionally on defense, but the Blue Devils should find enough consistency to solidify their place in the upper reaches of the ACC

CRAIG’s  Pick: Duke

For more sports betting and articles, check out the Betting Edge daily.



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