North Carolina vs. Duke Prediction and Odds for Final Four (Buy Low on the Over Before it Moves)

North Carolina's Brady Manek and Duke's Paolo Banchero meet up for a third time at the Final Four, with the Blue Devils four-point favorites.
North Carolina's Brady Manek and Duke's Paolo Banchero meet up for a third time at the Final Four, with the Blue Devils four-point favorites. / Lance King/GettyImages

If you thought Coach K was piping mad when Duke lost to North Carolina in his final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, imagine his reaction to losing to the hated Tar Heels in a Final Four matchup!

To their credit, since losing to Virginia Tech in the ACC Tournament final, the Blue Devils look terrific through their NCAA men's tournament run. Only problem? So has North Carolina.

The Tar Heels have covered the spread in every game in the tournament so far, with Duke covering comfortably in their last three. The lone exception was the 18.5-point spread vs. Cal-State Fullerton, to which the Blue Devils only beat them by 17.

Both teams play in the late game Saturday evening at 8:49 p.m. ET from the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans.

With both teams dominating on their rival's home court, who has the advantage on a neutral floor?

Here are the opening odds courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook.

North Carolina vs. Duke Odds, Spread and Total


  • North Carolina +4 (-110)
  • Duke -4 (+110)


  • North Carolina +160
  • Duke -195


  • 150.5 (OVER -110 | UNDER -110)

North Carolina vs. Duke Prediction and Pick

This is a fascinating Final Four matchup for a wide variety of reasons. The Tobacco Road rivalry aside, both of these teams are drastically different from when they last played no less than four weeks ago.

The Tar Heels have completely changed their identity defensively. Via CBB Analytics, after ranking in the 47th percentile in defensive rating (102.9), North Carolina now owns a defensive rating of 94.7; ranking in the 94th percentile over their last five games. That doesn't even include the 69-49 of Saint Peter's in the Elite Eight, so expect that ranking to climb even higher.

Meanwhile, Duke has taken their No. 1 KenPom adjusted offense to a whole new level during March Madness. Via ESPN Stats and Info, they rank third in Final Four history for the most points scored inside the paint, trailing only Louisville in 2013, and last year's Gonzaga team.

Despite the Tar Heels' rediscovery of defense to their repertoire, as well as unders going 10-1 in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight rounds, the over sets up very nicely in Round 3 of this great rivalry. Duke, despite getting beat in at home against the Tar Heels last time out, still dropped 81 against UNC, and has averaged 84 points in both games against them this season.

KenPom's projections have this being an 80-76 win for the Blue Devils, which lines up exactly with the spread and 5.5 points higher than where Vegas currently has it. WynnBET also as of this writing still has it at 150.5, despite the line moving to 151 or higher at several other books.

Take the discount while you still can.

PICK: OVER 150.5 (-110)

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