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Prop bets for Duke men's basketball vs. North Carolina

<p>Trevor Keels hit three 3-pointers against North Carolina Feb. 5.</p>

Trevor Keels hit three 3-pointers against North Carolina Feb. 5.

With Duke set to host North Carolina in its last regular-season game Saturday evening, the Blue Zone has you covered with some can't-miss prop bets:

Duke (-11.5) vs North Carolina

Having already clinched their first ACC regular-season title since 2010, the Blue Devils are back at home to play against North Carolina in an all-time rivalry matchup Saturday—in addition to the usual intensity of the rivalry, this will be the last home game for head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Since the last meeting in Chapel Hill, Duke has won seven of its eight matchups—five of those wins were on the road—including a 30-point rout at Pittsburgh Tuesday night. This isn’t to say that Saturday night’s matchup in Durham will be easy for Duke, as North Carolina has won six of its last seven games since that 20-point home loss to Duke in February. The Tar Heels, through some close wins in that time, have looked like an improved defensive team. Still, it is not surprising that Duke is favored by double digits entering the matchup.

While the game will be a physical test—that has always been the norm in the Tobacco Road rivalry—it will also be a psychological test for both sides. How will North Carolina handle a loud and confident crowd in Cameron Indoor Stadium after suffering one of its worst home defeats in two decades a month prior? And for Duke, how does the team approach the game after a streak of victories? These are just some of the factors that will affect the game’s outcome, but given the significance of the matchup for Duke, and just how much it dominated in the last matchup, Duke should be a pretty confident pick here.

Pick: Duke -11.5

Over/under 153.5

Looking at the last few games for both teams, it shouldn’t be surprising that the projected total Saturday is higher than usual for this rivalry matchup. Both teams have shown their complete offensive packages late in conference play, and with the earlier matchup at Dean Dome in mind, 153.5 seems like a fair estimate. 

The more interesting part of the matchup, though, will be how the two teams have learned and changed since February. Have they both figured out how to better prepare for the opposing team's offense and defense? Will they be able to avoid mistakes they may have made last time? These certainly are points for consideration, and it is more likely than not the score ends up lower than projected as the two teams play defense tailored to their opponents' offensive scheme.

Pick: Under 153.5

Trevor Keels over/under 12.5 points

Coming in off of the bench in just his second game back from a leg injury, freshman guard Trevor Keels had an efficient game in the first matchup between these two teams, shooting 3-of-4 from beyond the arc and making both of his free throws, totaling an efficient 11 points in just 20 minutes. In addition to his defensive intensity, Keels' ability to finish inside the paint has added to Duke’s offense. The Clinton, Md., native is now hot once again, as he totaled 27 points in Tuesday night’s matchup at Pittsburgh, making 5-of-8 3-pointers. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Keels have another field day in Duke's last regular-season game of the year.

Pick: Over 12.5 points


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