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Duke Blue Devils vs North Carolina Tar Heels Predictions, Picks, Odds, and NCAA Basketball Betting Preview – March 9 2019

Duke Blue Devils vs North Carolina Tar Heels Predictions, Picks, Odds, and NCAA Basketball Betting Preview – March 9 2019

The ACC always has the best regular-season finale in all of college basketball because it annually pits bitter rivals Duke Blue Devils (+250 to win the National Championship) and the North Carolina Tar Heels (+700) during this time of the year. With or without Zion Williamson, Saturday’s showdown in Chapel Hill is a can’t-miss basketball affair for hoops fans. Read on for a preview and prediction of another colossal matchup between these two storied programs.

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Betting Preview for the Duke Blue Devils vs. North Carolina Tar Heels College Basketball Game on March 9, 2019

Where: Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill

When: Saturday, March 9, 2019, 9:00 PM ET

Line: Duke Blue Devils (odds) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (odds) – view all NCAA Basketball lines

TV Broadcast: ESPN

Betting on the Duke Blue Devils (26-4 Overall / 14-3 Conference)

At this point, everyone should just assume that Zion Williamson will not be out there on the floor in Chapel Hill. It has been reported numerous times that Williamson is unlikely to suit up, and will probably be resurfacing in the ACC tournament. That’s disappointing development for Duke to deal with heading into the rematch with the Tar Heels, as the Blue Devils struggled mightily with Williamson out for most of their 88-72 home loss to North Carolina back on Feb. 20. Williamson hurt his knee and got knocked out of that game after just a minute on the floor, but RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish strapped their war helmets on and combined for 60 points. As good as they were, Duke greatly missed the production of its other players not named Williamson, especially Tre Jones, who only had three points on a salty 1-for-11 shooting. It’s also not a good sign for Duke that, though, it has gone 3-1 SU since Williamson’s injury, the Blue Devils’ quality of play has declined. Take fore example in their razor-thin 71-70 home win over ACC nobodies Wake Forest Demon Deacons last Tuesday.

Duke is averaging 84.6 points this season but has put up just 76.7 over its last three games.

The Blue Devils are 7-4 against the spread (ATS) in road games this season.

Betting on the North Carolina Tar Heels (25-5 Overall / 15-2 Conference)

The Tar Heels are in a much better form than Duke at this juncture of the season. They are on a six-game roll, a stretch that includes their win over the Blue Devils and a 79-66 road win over the Boston College Eagles last Tuesday. Luke Maye put on a show in the Boston College game, as he pumped out 17 points and hauled down a no-joke total of 20 rebounds to go with five assists. He fired blanks on four attempts from deep, but that’s forgivable given the effort he showed. Duke fans know Maye very much. He torched the Blue Devils last month, scoring 30 points on 14-for-24 shooting from the field. Maye got plenty of support from the pair of Cameron Johnson and Garrison Brooks, who had 26 and 14 points, respectively. Conspicuously missing, though, was Nassir Little, who only had two points in 11 minutes. With Williamson likely out for Duke, the Tar Heels should have an easier time winning the rebounding battle and controlling the paint. They out-rebounded Duke in the first matchup, 46-41, and also forced the Blue Devils to commit 20 turnovers. On the season, North Carolina is averaging 86.8 points per game, third nationally, while nailing 8.9 3-pointers per contest.

This season, North Carolina is 13-3 straight up (SU) and 7-7-2 ATS when playing from the comforts of home.

Writer’s Prediction

North Carolina wins, 84-83.

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Written by Ryan

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