It’s finally here: Duke and North Carolina, in the Final Four, for all the marbles. Now, at this point in head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s farewell season, most sports fans have likely selected one side of the aisle—either you’re rooting for the storybook ending or you’re praying someone stops it in its tracks. But if you still need something else to keep you interested, the Blue Zone’s got you covered with some can’t-miss prop bets:
Duke (-4) vs. North Carolina
We’re due for a close game. This NCAA tournament hasn’t seen a game-ending buzzer-beater yet, and both Duke-North Carolina games so far this season have been decided by double digits. I wouldn’t bet on that happening three times in a row. Especially not in this game—do you seriously think Duke-North Carolina in the Final Four is going to see one of these teams pull away?
Yes, if the Blue Devils are leading at the end, the foul game could push them past the four-point spread. That’s the risk you take with basketball spreads. But I really see this becoming a one-possession game that goes down to the wire. I think Duke wins (as you’ll see in beats’ picks) but I think North Carolina covers.
Pick: North Carolina +4
Over/Under 151 points
Root for points. Once again, this is Duke-North Carolina in the Final Four—do you really want to see a slugfest?
Even disregarding what you want to see, I truly believe the over here is a safe bet. Both of these teams have struggled defensively throughout the season, and have all kinds of firepower on offense that have proven to step up when the lights shine bright.
On North Carolina’s end, you have Caleb Love and Brady Manek draining threes while Armando Bacot continues his consistent production in the paint. On Duke’s side, Paolo Banchero and Mark Williams will continue to get their points inside while AJ Griffin and Trevor Keels man the perimeter and Jeremy Roach’s scoring emergence continues. Not only that, but if this game goes to overtime—which is a real possibility—the over is a virtual lock.
Pick: Over 151 total points
Paolo Banchero over/under 17.5 points
I know what you’re thinking—another boring Banchero over/under prop. But there’s a reason I’m picking this one for this game.
Banchero wants North Carolina. He’s wanted North Carolina since that infamous regular-season finale in Cameron Indoor Stadium. He said so in the ACC tournament—even if that comment eventually backfired. He wouldn’t repeat that mistake when CBS Sports’ Tracy Wolfson asked him again after Duke beat Arkansas in San Francisco, but we all know what his answer would’ve been.
Now, I’m sure the coaching staff has done its best to try and ensure the Blue Devils ignore the revenge factor and just look at it like any other game, but I still see Banchero coming out angry Saturday. Once again, the over is the play.
Pick: Over 17.5 points
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