Duke-North Carolina Odds: Best Bets for the Epic Final Four Duel

We should’ve seen this coming, right? In Mike Krzyzewski’s 42nd and final season on the sidelines for Duke, of course he’ll have to get by bitter rival North Carolina in his quest to win his sixth national championship as a head coach.

We know you’ll have your eyes glued to the television on Saturday night when the Blue Devils and Tar Heels meet in the NCAA Tournament for the very first time. We also know you’ll want to have some action on one of the most highly anticipated college basketball games of all time, so let’s try to find some winners for this epic duel.

Duke-North Carolina odds and breakdown

Paolo Banchero drives against Leaky Black.
Paolo Banchero of the Duke Blue Devils drives against Leaky Black of the North Carolina Tar Heels | Lance King/Getty Images

Mike Krzyzewski has been on the sidelines for 97 Duke-North Carolina games throughout his career, but Saturday will be the first time he’ll face off against his biggest rival in the NCAA Tournament. It will also be the last.

Coach K will be hanging up the clipboard after the 2022 season. The only question remaining is will his final ride end in triumph, or in heartbreak?

Let’s take a look at the odds for this exciting matchup.

Spread: Duke -4
Total: 151
Moneyline: Duke -190, North Carolina +160

The first thing that stuck out with these odds was the four-point spread. If you rewind to early March, Duke closed as an 11-point favorite over North Carolina in Coach K’s final home game. The Tar Heels ended up winning that game by 13, but a seven-point drop from then to now is a bit of an overreaction if you ask me.

As for the total, 151 feels a bit low considering Duke and UNC averaged 164.5 combined points per game in their two matchups this year.

Best bets for epic Final Four duel

Duke -4

Here’s where I land with this spread.

Yes, I understand the 11-point spread from early March was inflated because of the circumstances surrounding the game. It was Coach K’s final game, the crowd at Cameron Indoor Stadium was going to be the loudest it’s ever been, and the players were expected to go all out to give their legendary coach a positive send-off.

But seven points? Seven points of difference in less than a month just because North Carolina dominated the second half and won by double digits? If we go back to even earlier in the season, Duke smoked UNC by 20 points on their home floor.

The Blue Devils are far more talented from top to bottom, and I don’t trust Caleb Love to keep carrying the Tar Heels’ offense the way he’s done all tournament long. I’ll bet on talent to win out and lay the four points here.

Duke OVER 77.5 points

I don’t necessarily love the total at 151, but I would lean toward the over. I would like to attack the total in some way, though, so I’ll target Duke’s team total of 77.5 points.

For one, the Blue Devils scored 87 and 81 against the Tar Heels in two games this year. They’ve also gone over this number in all four of their NCAA Tournament games to this point. Duke’s offense is humming right now, and I’m not exactly scared of North Carolina’s mediocre defense.

This game will be played at a lightning-fast pace. I trust Coach K’s squad to cruise over this total.

All betting odds courtesy of DraftKings as of 3/31.

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