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Week 13: North Carolina vs. Duke Preview & Pick

North Carolina Tar Heels vs Duke Blue Devils Gambling Preview + Predictions

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Week 13: North Carolina vs Duke Preview & Pick

Date: Saturday, November 27, 2010
Venue: Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC
Broadcast: ESPNU
North Carolina Tar Heels at Duke Blue Devils Betting Lines from BetUS.com
Money Line: North Carolina -320, Duke +260
Spread: North Carolina -7.5
Over/Under: 57.5
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North Carolina Tar Heels (6-5)

You get the feeling North Carolina wants this season to end. The NCAA probe derailed their season early on and, while they got hot for a while, they’ve disappointed over their last couple of games. Virginia Tech totally stymied quarterback T.J. Yates two weeks ago; last week, UNC suffered another disappointing home loss, falling 29-25 to N.C. State. It wasn’t Yates’ fault that time; he got back on track, going 33 of 44 for 411 yards and two touchdowns.

Looking at the box score, it’s hard to understand how the Tar Heels lost that game. They held N.C. State to 275 total yards. Russell Wilson only threw for 163 yards against them; no Wolfpack player ran for more than 45 yards.

The problem was special teams. T.J. Graham gashed the Tar Heels with an 87-yard punt return touchdown in the fourth quarter and finished with 188 yards on punts and kickoffs combined. In theory, UNC could chalk that up to a fluke and bounce back strong this week against Duke. Its defense ranks a respectable 39th in the country. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Duke Blue Devils (3-8)

Duke just can’t keep opponents off the board, can it? The Blue Devils allow 36.5 points per game, good for 109th in the nation, and have allowed 44 or more points four times this season. Last week’s 30-20 loss at Georgia Tech stretched their horrid conference record to 1-6 on the year. The Yellow Jackets did their usual thing against Duke, rolling up 320 rushing yards.

That loss was actually a perfect microcosm of Duke’s season. While the Blue Devils couldn’t make a stop to save their lives, their offense did a decent job keeping pace. Sean Renfree threw for 334 yards and a score on 30 of 41 passing. He’s done a respectable job taking Duke downfield this season. Though his 15 interceptions compared to 13 picks are ugly, Renfree hasn’t thrown an interception in four games and has a completion percentage of 71 or better in three of his last four outings.

The pick:

This should be a pretty fun game to watch. T.J. Yates has carved up the weaker pass defenses all year and should have no problem lighting up Duke. Renfree won’t have an easy job against UNC but he’s proven that he can at least keep his team in games. I’d expect a lot of yards from both teams and a lot of points – at least from UNC.

North Carolina vs Duke prediction: North Carolina 38, Duke 21

Money Line: North Carolina -320
Spread: North Carolina -7.5
Over/Under: OVER 57.5

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.