The 2022 NCAA Basketball Championship Final Four brings the marquee ACC matchup between the Tar Heels and Blue Devils on Saturday, April 2, so we’ve prepared the best North Carolina vs. Duke betting pick and odds.
The Tar Heels and Blue Devils split their two-game regular-season series. Duke trounced North Carolina 87-67 as a 3.5-point road fave on February 5, while the Tar Heels responded with a 94-81 victory as 11-point road underdogs on March 5. The Blue Devils opened as 4-point favorites this time around, while totals sit at 151.0 points on MyBookie Sportsbook.
North Carolina dismantled Saint Peter’s in the Elite Eight
The No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels (28-9; 20-16-1 ATS) have covered the spread in their first four outings in the 2022 NCAA Tournament. After beating No. 9 Marquette 95-63, No. 1 Baylor 93-86 in overtime, and No. 4 UCLA 73-66, the Tar Heels thrashed off the No. 15 Saint Peter’s Peacocks 69-49 in the Elite Eight.
North Carolina dominated Saint Peter’s from start to finish, and junior forward Armando Bacot posted a ridiculous 20-point, 22-rebound double-double. Sophomore guard Caleb Love, who dropped 30 points on UCLA, scored 14 points against the Peacocks, while senior F Brady Manek added 19 points and eight rebounds.
Bacot has been a beast so far this season, tallying 16.5 points and 12.8 boards per game. The Tar Heels have played solid defense over the last couple of weeks, but they lean on their offense that scores 114.4 points per 100 possessions (18th in the country) on 36.1% shooting from beyond the 3-point line (54th).
Duke easily outlasted Arkansas to reach the Final Four
The No. 2 Duke Blue Devils (32-6; 20-15-3 ATS) are coming off a 78-69 victory over the No. 4 Arkansas Razorbacks in the Elite Eight. They covered the spread for the third outing in a row, playing as 4.5-point favorites.
The Blue Devils made 54.7% of their field goals and 40.0% of their triples (4-for-10) while holding the Razorbacks to 41.9% shooting from the field and 30.0% from beyond the arc (6-for-20). Freshman wing AJ Griffin led the way with 18 points on 7-for-9 shooting from the field; freshman forward Paolo Banchero had 16 points, seven rebounds, and three assists, while sophomore big man Mark Williams posted a line of 12 points, 12 boards, and three blocks.
Banchero has been the Blue Devils’ best player in 2021-22, racking up 17.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game. Duke boasts the highest offensive rating in the country, tallying 121.0 points per 100 possessions. The Blue Devils’ offense ranks fourth in field goal percentage (49.4%) and 34th in 3-point percentage (37.0%).
- 2-6 ATS in the last eight outings in the NCAA Tournament as underdogs
- 5-1 ATS in the last six games played in April
- 4-1 ATS in the last five games against the No. 8 seed
North Carolina vs. Duke Pick
The Blue Devils are a well-balanced team. They should take advantage of the Tar Heels’ defense that lacks quality on the wing. Also, the Blue Devils possess height and length to deal with Armando Bacot and Brady Manek, so I’m going with Duke to win and cover a 4-point spread.
The Tar Heels will keep it close if they find a way to slow down Duke’s mid-range game. They also need to shoot the ball well, but I’m expecting the Blue Devils’ offense to make the difference down the stretch.
Pick: Take Duke -4.0 at -110
While the Blue Devils average 67.3 possessions per 40 minutes (170th in the nation), the Tar Heels love to play at a fast pace, recording 70.3 possessions per 40 minutes (39th). Their last six encounters have gone over the total, producing 154 or more points in total each.
Duke has scored 78 points in three of its previous four games. On the other side, North Carolina has accounted for 73 or more in six of its last nine outings.
Pick: Go over 151.0 points at -110