It’s the ACC Tournament matchup everyone wants to see, albeit earlier than preferred, which is why this semifinal game between the AP Poll No.3 ranked North Carolina Tar Heels and the No.5 ranked Duke Blue Devils feels more like the ACC Championship Final. The No.5 (3 in the ACC) should be stripped from Duke and replaced with a big fat No.1 now that Zion Williamson has returned, making a statement against the Syracuse Orange. That’s why NCAA Futures price Duke in the top spot (+300) to win the 2019 Mens NCAA Basketball Tournament, while North Carolina has +900 odds to do the same. The point spread is close on this one, with Duke favored by 3-points.
Betting Preview for the Duke Blue Devils vs North Carolina Tar Heels ACC Semifinal College Basketball Game on March 15, 2019
Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
When: Friday, March 15, 2019, 9 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Betting on the Duke Blue Devils (27-5 Overall / 14-4 Conference)
You can just hear Bob Marley’s voice belting out “Ziiioon” as the Iron Lion hit the floor against Syracuse last night. Not only did the superstar show he’s ready to take Duke all the way through March, he’s firmly secured his No.1 status in the NBA Draft. Wearing a fresh pair of Nike Kyrie 4s, Williamson poured in 29 points, manhandled 14 rebounds, and tossed in 2 assists for good measure, through his 35-minutes of play. Coach Mike Krzyzewski was brilliant holding on to his star for the Syracuse game, for re-entry. RJ Barrett (No.2 NBA Draft pick!) didn’t just sit back and watch his teammate, as he added 23 points of his own in the 84-72 win against the Orange.
Sure, Duke lost 79-70 to the North Carolina Tar Heels last Saturday, but Zion wasn’t playing. When you consider the fact that in that game RJ Barrett poured in 26-points and pulled down 12 rebounds while Cam Reddish put up 23-points, you can only imagine what would have happened with Williamson in the lineup. And that’s where he’ll be tonight.
After a win this season, Duke is 13-13 against the spread (ATS), covering 50% of the time, and is 17-15 ATS in the ACC overall, covering for 53.1%. These stats will probably look a bit better after tonight.
Betting on the North Carolina Tar Heels (27-5 Overall /16-2 Conference)
North Carolina doesn’t want to hear about Duke and Zion. They’re making their own statements. They clipped the Louisville Cardinals wings last night, 83-70, after going up 45-35 in the first half, taking their feet off the gas slightly in the second. Forward Luke Maye and guard Coby White both scored 19 points, while guard Cameron Johnson added 14.
North Carolina would like to remind you that against Duke last Saturday, they shot 40.5% from the field (against Duke’s 34.2%) and shot 38.7% from the 3 point line (against Duke’s 25%). What they don’t want you to know however, is that they tied Duke on the boards, 48-48, without Zion Williamson. We hate to sound like a broken record here, but the Tar Heels ain’t ready for what’s to come tonight. Payback.
After a win this season, North Carolina is 16-8-2 ATS, covering 66.7% of the time, and is 20-9-3 ATS in the ACC overall, covering 69% of the time. Will that impressive trend matter tonight?
Duke wins, 88-82.
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