Duke's ATS Swoon Makes Tar Heels The Pick For Thursday Night

North Carolina Tar Heels player in action

Kevin Stott

Thursday, February 9, 2017 2:57 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 2:57 PM UTC

Grayson Allen, the Cameron Crazies and #18 Duke welcome Kennedy Meeks and #8 North Carolina to Cameron Indoor Stadium Thursday as college basketball’s biggest rivalry resumes. With the Blue Devils just 2-12 ATS their L14 in ACC play and playing average basketball lately, is backing Joel Berry II and the dog Tar Heels worth the trouble here?

North Carolina Tar Heels vs Duke Blue Devils

No. 19 North Carolina (21-4 SU, 12-11 ATS) heads down Tobacco Road Thursday night to Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham to face #18 Duke (18-5 SU, 9-13 ATS) in NCAA basketball’s biggest rivalry. Sportsbook BetOnline opened Duke 1½-point favorites Wednesday, and the Blue Devils were bet up to 3 before settling in as 2½-point favorites with NCAAB odds showing the total at 162.


North Carolina Tar Heels

In their last game Sunday, HC Roy Williams and the Tar Heels defeated #24 Notre Dame, 83-76, at home in Chapel Hill but barely failed to cover as 9-point favorites (159½). In the win over the Fighting Irish, UNC (87.8 PS-71.6 PA) shot 49.2% from the Field (30-61) with starters Justin Jackson (16 points), Isaiah Hicks (14), Joel Berry II (12), Kennedy Meeks (11) and Kenny Williams (11) all finishing in double figures with Tony Bradley adding 12 off the bench.

North Carolina (#10 Pomeroy ranking) is a dismal 1-7 ATS L8 vs. home teams with winning records, 1-6 ATS L7 on the road and 1-4 ATS L5 overall. The Under is 4-0 L4 NC games, 11-4 its L15 after loss and 8-3 L11 powder blue Thursdays.


Duke Blue Devils

Duke and healing (Back surgery) HC Mike Krzyzewski have been sporadic and poor ATS this year and in their last game on Saturday in Coach K’s return in Durham, the Blue Devils (82.5 PS-67.9 PA) rallied from a 28-28 halftime tie to defeat Pitt, 72-64, failing to cover as inflated 16-point favorites (155½) in a game in which the hosts were never close to covering. Grayson Allen (21 points), Amile Jefferson (15), Jayson Tatum (12) and Luke Kennard (10) were all in double-digits for the Dukies who shot 39.3% (11-28) on their 3’s.

The Blue Devils (#17 Pomeroy ranking) are 15-6-1 ATS L22 Home as Favorites of ½-6½ points but 2-12 ATS L14 vs. ACC and 1-7 ATS L8 following SU Win. The Over is 8-2 L10 Duke games overall and 10-2 its L12 in ACC play while the Under is 6-2 L8 Thursdays and 16-7 L23 Home.


Series Trends, Best Betting Approach

Trends show the Road team (19-7 ATS L26), Underdog (6-2 ATS L8) and Under (11-5 L16) have all done well with NC going 5-1 ATS L6 at Duke and winning the last meeting in Durham, 76-72 as 2½-point dogs last season (160½).

With the Blue Devils (2-5 ATS L7 Home, 3-9 ATS L12) playing below average, taking the Heels +2½ seems worth a small shot. North Carolina (L3 ATS) enjoys the ATS Day of the Week edge, going 9-4 ATS L13 Thursdays with Duke 2-5 ATS L7 Thursdays.


Final Score Predictions: North Carolina 77 Duke 73Free NCAAB PICK: North Carolina +2½ Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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