Prop bets for No. 9 Duke men's basketball vs. North Carolina

The Blue Devils scored 84 points in their last outing against the Tar Heels.
The Blue Devils scored 84 points in their last outing against the Tar Heels.

It’s finally here. The Blue Devils are set for their second showdown with their Tobacco Road Rivals, and the Blue Zone is here with some can’t-miss prop bets before the rematch with the Tar Heels:

Duke (-4.5) vs North Carolina

The end of the regular season is just around the corner, and there isn't a better way to end it than to have a Duke versus North Carolina rivalry game. Both teams are coming in with an identical record — 24-6 — and with near similar rankings. It really can’t get closer than that, yet it was the Tar Heels who came up with a huge 93-84 victory back on Feb. 3 to take the first game in the Dean Dome. Prior to this victory, the Blue Devils had won the last two meetings during the 2022-23 season. Now, the roles have switched, and it is Duke who is coming in seeking revenge at Cameron Indoor Stadium. 

When the Blue Devils met North Carolina for the first time this season, they had the highest number of points in the paint so far with 54 but shot only 26.3% from deep. Meanwhile, the Tar Heels shot 37.5% from beyond the arc, which demonstrated North Carolina’s ability to defend the three ball. Notably, in all the six games that Duke has lost this season, the opposing team has shot a higher percentage from beyond the arc. Nonetheless, in all of the home games that the Blue Devils have played this year, they have shot above 30% from beyond the arc in all but three games. With the home crowd by its side and revenge in its minds, it will be Duke who will hit the big 3-point shots and beat the Tar Heels to even up the series. 

Pick: Duke -4.1

Over/Under 150.5 total points

The last time that North Carolina and the Blue Devils played against each other, the score ended up totaling to 177 points. In that game, however, the Tar Heels attempted 25 free throws and shot 37.5% from deep. On average, Duke has shot 38% from beyond the arc while leaving its opponents to just 31.9%. North Carolina is averaging 35.6% from beyond the arc and are leaving their opponents at 31% from 3-point range. Both teams rely on the deep ball, so each side will need to efficiently defend from three. This gives reason to believe that it will be a game where a lot of three point shots are attempted. 

Moreover, the Blue Devils are averaging 80.2 points per game while leaving their opponents to 66.7, while the Tar Heels are at 81.5 per game with an opposing average of 69.8 points. The lowest scoring game that Duke has had this season was in the win against Notre Dame, where the team shot 21.43% from beyond the arc in the first half without Tyrese Proctor.  Meanwhile, North Carolina had its lowest scoring game against Virginia, where it scored 54 points and shot a below-average 32% from the field but managed to connect 31.8% from beyond the arc. On the one hand, the Blue Devils have struggled to score when they shoot poorly from beyond the arc while the Tar Heels find challenges when paint-heavy defenses like the Cavaliers prevent Armando Bacot and their centers from creating plays. With a Duke defense that has difficulties containing big centers like N.C. State’s D.J. Burns and a North Carolina defense that fed from the Blue Devils’ lack of experience in the last contest, this matchup looks to total to more than 149.1 points. 

Pick: Over 150.5 total points

Tyrese Proctor over/under 11.5 points

It's been a season full of ups and downs for the Sydney, Australia, native. Proctor started the season as a projected first-round pick for the 2024 NBA Draft and has since fallen to the second round. However, he’s had a couple of notable performances this season, including a 24-point outing against Louisville, 18 in a crucial win against Clemson and a respectable 15 in the victory against Virginia. Given that his best offensive performances have come in the second half of the season, Proctor seems to be heading in the right direction with the game approaching. 

This being said, Proctor did have one of his worst performances against the Tar Heels back in February, going for just two points on 1-6 shooting from the field. While this could be attributed to the Tar Heel defense, the sophomore guard has shown that he’s capable of having good games against North Carolina. As a freshman, he went for 11 and 13 points, respectively, in both meetings with the Tar Heels, which resulted in Duke wins. The sophomore has also shown the ability to bounce back after struggling to score against teams this season. Proctor scored 11 points against Pittsburgh Jan. 20 after only scoring three points in the previous game against the Panthers. Considering that the Blue Devils have won 12 of the 14 games in which Proctor has scored more than 10 points, it will be crucial for the sophomore guard to bounce back and have a better game. 

Pick: Over 11.5 points


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