- No. 2 West Region seed Duke is a 4.5-point favorite over North Carolina in the Final Four
- No. 8 East Region seed North Carolina has won six NCAA titles, one more than Duke
- Read below for Duke vs UNC odds, analysis, and betting prediction
No. 2 West seed Duke (32-6, 20-16-2 ATS) is a 4.5-point favorite over ACC rival North Carolina in an NCAA Final Four game at 8:49 pm ET, Saturday, on TBS at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, La. The teams split two regular-season games, each winning on the other’s court.
No. 8 East seed North Carolina (28-9, 20-16-1 ATS) is 10-1 straight up and 9-2 ATS since a mid-February home loss to Pittsburgh, its worst lost of the season. The Tar Heels ruined Mike Krzyzewski’s home finale at Cameron Indoor Stadium with a 94-81 victory March 5.
Duke vs North Carolina Odds
|Duke Blue Devils||-190||-4.5 (-105)||Over 151.5 (-110)|
|North Carolina Tar Heels||+155||+4.5 (-115)||Under 151.5 (-110)|
Odds from Barstool Sportsbook on March 31.
Duke is a 4.5-point favorite over North Carolina in an NCAA Final Four game with the total set at 151.5, lower than the two previous meetings this season. The Blue Devils are -190 on the moneyline, which means they have a 65.5% implied win probability. The Tar Heels are +155 on the moneyline, which translates into a 39.2% implied win probability.
The line opened at -200/+165 in favor of Duke, so has trended slightly towards the underdog.
Duke is the favorite to win March Madness at +135. North Carolina has the longest odds at +550.
8 Miles and a Few Shades of Blue
Arch-rivals Duke and North Carolina have met 257 times in the regular season and have 11 NCAA championships among them, but this will be their first meeting in the NCAA Tournament despite a combined 38 appearances in the Final Four.
The Tar Heels have made 21 Final Fours; this is Duke’s first since winning the 2015 national title.
Their two regular-season games could not have been more different. Duke dominated the Tar Heels in an 87-67 victory on Feb. 6, when freshman A.J. Griffin had a season-high 27 points, Paolo Banchero had a 13/10 double-double and Duke shot 57.6% from the field.
The Blue Devils held Tar Heels’ big four — Armando Bacot, Caleb Love, Brady Manek and R.J. Davis — to 18 of 47 from the field and brutalized them on the boards, holding a 40-24 advantage. UNC is No. 8 in the NCAA with a plus-8.2 rebound margin.
North Carolina responded by ruining Mike Krzyzewski’s final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium with a 94-81 victory on March 5 in front of 90 or so former Duke players.
Bacot had 23 points and four Tar Heels scored at least 20 points, pulling away by shooting 59 percent in the second half. Manek had a 20/11 double-double and made five 3-pointers.
Manek, Roach Step Up in NCAAs
North Carolina’s Brady Manek and Duke’s Jeremy Roach have provided an extra oomph for each team through the first two weekend.
Manek’s distance shooting has helped the Tar Heels offset the pressure on center Bacot and point guard Love. Manek is 16 of 34 (47.1% from distance in the tournament and is averaging 21.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. He has eight rebounds in three of the four NCAA games, a season-best stretch.
Blue Devils’ sophomore Roach returned to the starting lineup in place of freshman Trevor Keels when the tournament began to give Blue Devils a true point guard.
While Roach’s numbers have not been as good Manek’s and he has been sloppy with the ball at times (nine turnovers the last two games), he gets the ball to the right guy, can negate pressure defense and provides complementary scoring — 12.8 points per game in the tournament.
Duke vs North Carolina Head-to-Head Results
North Carolina is 6-4 straight up and 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings, and the last six games have gone over the total.
Each team’s last loss was to Virginia Tech in the ACC Tournament. The Hokies beat North Carolina 72-59 in the ACC semifinals March 11 and beat the Blue Devils 82-67 in the championship game March 12.
UNC entered the tournament as a +1800 longshot in the Final Four odds. Duke was a considerably shorter +430.
Claim the Best Final Four Promo at Barstool Sportsbook
UNC vs Duke Betting Trends
Duke is 13-2 straight up and 7-8 ATS in its last 15 this season, although it has covered its last three NCAA Tournament games to break an 0-5 ATS streak.
This is the 7th time the ACC has put 2 teams in the Final Four. 😎
— ACC Men’s Basketball (@accmbb) March 27, 2022
North Carolina is 8-1 ATS in its last nine. Both teams have favored the over — Duke games are 21-16-1 over total and the Tar Heels are 21-16 over.
Both regular-season games were over this season, with the totals at 152.5 and 153. The total has gone over in eight of Duke’s last 10 games, when the total has been under in four of UNC’s last six.
Duke vs North Carolina Prediction
North Carolina spoiled Coach K’s going-away party at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and the Blue Devils will not let that happen again. The Tar Heels are playing as well as they have all season, but the Blue Devils are on a mission.
Playing for something greater than yourselves, as the Blue Devils are doing here, is the strongest motivator in sports. It carries a team to a higher level, and it cannot be discounted. The game also has a great chance to go over the 151.5, the smallest total the teams have seen in three meetings this year.
The pick: Duke -4.5 (105)
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