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Duke Blue Devils vs. UNC Tar Heels CBB Betting Predictions & Preview

Duke vs North Carolina Basketball Gambling Lines

The eighth-ranked Duke Blue Devils will make the always daunting trip over to Chapel Hill on Wednesday to take on the North Carolina Tar Heels in one of the most anticipated matchups of rivalry week.  [ad-4468020]

8 Duke Blue Devils (19-5) at North Carolina Tar Heels (16-7)
Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Time: 9:00 PM ET
Venue: Dean E. Smith Center
City: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Spread: Duke -2.5

Matchup Stats | ATS Insider Preview

The Blue Devils come to Chapel Hill having won seven of their last eight games, with the lone loss coming to No. 1 Syracuse in overtime, while North Carolina is riding a five-game winning streak, claiming each of those games by double digits.

While North Carolina will be unranked for the third consecutive edition of the Tobacco Road Rivalry, the team has really stepped up for big games this season. The Tar Heels are 3-0 on the year when facing opponents that opened the season ranked in the top four of the USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll, posting wins over Louisville, Michigan State, and Kentucky. A win over Duke would all but guarantee them a spot inside the top 25 in the AP Poll come Monday, though added motivation is never needed when these teams face off.

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As for Duke, they’ve found another gear now that star freshman Jabari Parker has really started to figure things out. Over the last two games, Parker is averaging 25.0 points on 74.1 percent shooting with 12.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks. That comes on the back of a career-best performance in which he set career highs in points and rebounds against Boston College. A big reason for Parkers turnaround has been his increased willingness to get into the paint, and his increased efficiency when getting there. In his first four ACC games, Parker averaged 10.5 points per game, averaging 3.0 points in the paint on 35 percent shooting in the paint. Over the last seven ACC games, Parker is averaging 20.0 points per game, posting 12.3 points on 58 percent shooting in the paint.
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Parker’s play covers up the play of the rest of his team, which has been quite strong. Duke’s team three-point percentage of 42.0 percentage is tied with Cleveland State for best in the nation. That supporting cast will need to keep a close eye on North Carolina guard Marcus Paige who leads the Tar Heels in scoring with 17.0 points per game. He’s really stepped up in big games, averaging 22.7 points per game in the three games against Louisville, Michigan State, and Kentucky.

The Tobacco Road Rivalry has certainly garnered the attention of the betting community whenever an installment hits the big board. The schools have met 12 times since 2000 with North Carolina outside of the national Top 25, and Duke has won 11 of those 12 matchups, with eight of those wins coming by double digits. With Parker seemingly having figured things out, another win for Duke seems likely.

The Blue Devils are 6-1 ATS in their last seven trips to Chapel Hill, and the road team is 22-8 ATS in the last 30 meetings between these teams.

The play: Duke -2.5

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