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College Hoops Preview: Tar Heels vs. Blue Devils (Feb. 11)

Best Rivalry in College Hoops – (3) North Carolina at (5) Duke

Game-day: 2/11/2009

Tip-off: 9:00 pm est.

The North Carolina Tar Heels travel to Cameron Indoor Stadium to take on the Blue Devils of Duke. North Carolina vs. Duke has become the biggest rivalry in the ACC Conference.The Tar Heels were the consensus number one pick at the beginning of the college basketball season but haven’t proven that they are any better than some other teams in the NCAAB. North Carolina has suffered two losses this season and is 21 and 2 straight-up. Against the spread, the Tar Heels are 9 and 12 overall and 4 and 4 away.

The Blue Devils have been almost as good straight-up going 20 and 3. Their record ATS is 11-10-1 overall and 6 and 6 at home. The advantage of playing in front of the Cameron Crazies against the Tar Heels has to be considered when making a bet in this game. Even though the Blue Devils don’t have a terrific at home record against the spread, they usually step it up when North Carolina comes to town.

Here is the BetUS Sportsbook online NCAAB betting line:

North Carolina Tar Heels -2 -110 O 157 -110
Duke Blue Devils +2 -110 U 157 -110

Here are a few online wagering trends:

The North Carolina Tar Heels are 5 and 1 against the spread in their last 6 games following an ATS loss.
The North Carolina Tar Heels are 8 and 2 against the spread in the last 10 meetings between these two teams at Duke.
The Duke Blue Devils are 2-5-1 against the spread in their last 8 meetings after an S.U. victory.
The Over is 5 and 1 in the last 6 meetings between these two teams.

Duke can be a phenomenal defensive team. But North Carolina, when they are “right”, can score against anyone in the nation.

The key in this game is going to be how Duke defends Carolina’s front court of Tyler Hansbrough, Danny Green and Deon Thompson. The problem that the Devils will have is if anyone of those guys begins to take charge. If Duke can’t use their man-to-man defense, and have to double team either Hansbrough, Green or Thompson, then that will leave superstar guard Ty Lawson out on the perimeter to hit the Dookies with threes all night.

On the offensive end, Duke can score with Kyle Sigler, Gerald Henderson and Greg Paulus, but will Duke be able to score enough to stick with the Heels?

I’m going to say no. North Carolina has been on a roll lately. They aren’t covering every spread but they have won 7 games in a row including a blow-out victory over the Clemson Tigers by 24 points.

Duke has lost 2 out of their last 4 games. The loss to Clemson was eye opening as Duke only scored 47 points in that game and was blown out by almost 30.

North Carolina is the better team. I have to go with them in this game.

North Carolina vs. Duke Prediction:

I’m going to make an online bet on North Carolina to cover the -2 point spread.

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