ACC Betting Picks: #5 Duke Blue Devils at North Carolina Tar Heels

#5 Duke Blue Devils at North Carolina Tar Heels
Dean Smith Center – Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Thursday, February 20, 2014, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Duke -1 1/2
Current Line: Duke -2
Opening Total: 152
Current Total: 150
Opening Money Line: Duke -135 / UNC +115
Current Money Line: Duke -130 / UNC +110

North Carolina and Duke renew their heated rivalry Thursday night in Chapel Hill.
North Carolina and Duke renew their heated rivalry Thursday night in Chapel Hill.

Duke and North Carolina were supposed to play last Wednesday night but the game was postponed because of heavy snow. The two teams will now renew their rivalry Thursday night in Chapel Hill. Duke is 21-5 this season and 10-3 in the ACC, behind Syracuse and Virginia, who each have one conference loss. North Carolina is 18-7 and in fourth place in the ACC at 8-4.

North Carolina leads the series against Duke 132-104, including 60-34 in Chapel Hill. Duke was won 7 of the last 9 games in the series, including sweeping both meetings last season. The Blue Devils have also won 10 of the last 15 in Chapel hill between the teams. The two schools will close out the regular season against each other March 8 in Durham.

Duke is coached by Mike Krzyzewski. Duke has losses to Kansas in Chicago, Arizona in Madison Square Garden, at Notre Dame, at Clemson and at Syracuse. The Blue Devils have won 9 of their last 10 games and 4 straight. Duke has key wins over Davidson, Florida Atlantic, East Carolina, Vermont, Alabama at MSG, Michigan, UCLA in New York, Georgia Tech, Virginia, NC State, at Miami, Florida State, at Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Boston College, Maryland, and at Georgia Tech Tuesday 68-51. The Blue Devils are 17-9 ATS and the total is 12-13 this season.

Duke is outscoring teams 81-67 this season. The Blue Devils are #19 in scoring nationally. Duke is shooting 46.9% from the field and 41.6% from 3 point range. The Blue Devils are #2 nationally in 3 point shooting. Duke is #50 in free throw shooting at 73.6% from the line. Blue Devil opponents are shooting 44.8% from the field and 30.8% from 3 point range. Duke is #37 nationally in three point defense. The Blue Devils average 35 rebounds per game and opponents average 30.6 rebounds per game. Duke averages 15.2 assists, 9.4 turnovers, 7.1 steals and 3 blocks per game. Opponents average 10.8 assists, 12.8 turnovers, 4.9 steals and 3.3 blocks per game.

Freshman forward Jabari Parker averages 19.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1 steal, and 1.3 blocks per game. He is projected to be a high lottery pick in the NBA draft. Forward Rodney Hood averages 16.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. Guard Quinn Cook averages 12 points, 2.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Guard Andre Dawkins averages 9.2 points and 1.5 rebounds per game. Guard Rasheed Sulaimon averages 9.3 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Forward Amile Jefferson averages 6.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. Tyler Thornton, Matt Jones, and Josh Hairston will also get time in the rotation.

North Carolina is coached by Roy Williams. The Tar Heels have losses to Belmont, at UAB, Texas, at Wake Forest, Miami-(FL), at Syracuse and at Virginia. UNC has key wins over Oakland, Richmond & Louisville in a tournament in Connecticut, at Michigan State, Kentucky, Davidson, Boston College, Clemson, at Georgia Tech,  NC State, Maryland, at Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Monday at Florida State 81-75. North Carolina has won 7 straight games after a 1-4 start in ACC play. The Tar Heels are 14-11 ATS and the total is 12-12 this season.

North Carolina is outscoring teams 76-68 this season. The Tar heels are shooting 45.5% from the field and 32.3% from 3 point range. UNC is #346 out of 351 teams nationally in free throw shooting at 62.3% from the line. Tar Heel opponents are shooting 39.5% from the field and 30.7% from 3 point range. North Carolina is in the top 40 nationally in both categories. The Tar Heels average 41.2 rebounds a game and give up 32.4 to opponents. UNC is #8 in rebounding nationally. The Tar Heels average  15.7 assists, 12.5 turnovers, 7.8 steals and 5.3 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.3 assists, 14.2 turnovers, 6.3 steals and 4.1 blocks per game.

UNC guard Marcus Paige averages 17.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Forward James Michael McAdoo averages 15.3 points, 7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 1 block per game. Guard Leslie McDonald averages 10.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. Forward Brice Johnson averages 10.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.4 blocks per game. Forward J.P Tokoto averages 8.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game. Forward Kennedy Meeks averages 7.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Guard Nate Britt averages 5 points, 1.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game.

Duke is 5-0 ATS in road games, 8-1 overall and in ACC games, 7-1 after a straight up win and against teams with winning records, 6-1 after a cover, 4-1 in Thursday games, and 5-2 against teams with winning home records. The road team is 22-8 ATS in this series recently. The Blue Devils are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 trips to Chapel Hill.

North Carolina is 7-0 ATS against teams with winning records, overall, and in ACC games, 6-0 after a win and a cover, 4-0 at home, 4-1 in Thursday games, 1-4 against teams with winning road records. The under is 8-2 in this series recently including 5-1 in Chapel Hill.

Because of the postponement, both Duke and Carolina have to play 4 games in a week from last Saturday to this Saturday. Duke hosts #1 Syracuse Saturday, while Norhh Carolina hosts Wake Forest Saturday. The legs could be an issue for both teams late in this game, but beating your arch rival should be motivation enough to fight through the fatigue. All five of Duke’s losses have come on the road or in neutral site games. Both teams are red hot, but I think Duke wins a close game on the road.

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