Skip to main content
D.J. Burns Jr. #30 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack posts up as we look at our NC State vs. Duke Elite Eight March Madness expert pick and best bet
D.J. Burns Jr. #30 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack posts up against PJ Hall #24 of the Clemson Tigers during the first half in the quarterfinals of the ACC Basketball Tournament. Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images via AFP.

ACC rivals battle it out for the right to go to the Final Four as NC State takes on Duke, and we offer our NC State vs. Duke Elite 8 picks and best bet based on the best NCAAB odds.

It's an in-state rivalry battle when No. 4 Duke and No. 11 NC State meet in an all-ACC Elite Elight clash on Sunday. The Wolfpack are the fourth 11-seed (or worse) to make it to the Elite Eight during the last four NCAA Tournaments.

The tilt few expected will tip off at American Airlines Center in Dallas at 5:05 p.m. ET (CBS).

NC State's journey to the Elite Eight marks its first advancement to this stage since Jim Valvano led the team as head coach in 1986. The Wolfpack secured their spot by upsetting No. 2 Marquette in the Sweet 16.

Meanwhile, Duke's path to the Elite Eight came through a victory over Houston, breaking its five-game losing streak against higher-seeded teams in the NCAA Tournament.

As part of our March Madness predictions, here are our best NC State vs. Duke picks and best bets (odds via our best March Madness betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

NC State (11) vs. Duke (4) game info

  • When: Sunday, March 31
  • Tip-off: 5:05 p.m. ET 
  • Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
  • How to watch: CBS
  • Favorite: Duke -6 (odds via Caesars)

NC State vs. Duke odds

NC State vs. Duke prediction

NC State +6.5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Best odds: -110 via bet365, BetMGM

NC State has been doubted ever since the start of its miracle run of five wins in five days through the ACC Tournament, all the way through its latest Sweet 16 win against Marquette. Before the NCAA Tournament began, the Wolfpack were the only team that eventually made the Sweet 16, ranked lower than 36th in KenPom’s rankings (the Wolfpack were 56th), while 14 of the 16 were ranked 19th or higher. But NC State will not be intimidated by Duke, who it beat in the third game of its ACC Tournament run 17 days ago, and we believe all the adjustments that head coach Kevin Keatts continues to make since then will pay off in at least a cover in this Elite Eight matchup.

NC State is averaging 79.3 points per game during its eight-game winning streak, and a big difference is Keatts surrounding big man DJ Burns with four outstanding perimeter shooters. Defending the Wolfpack is truly a “pick your poison” decision lately, as Burns has scored in double figures in seven of the eight games during the streak while shooting a blistering 63.7% (49-for-77) from inside the arc. They entered the Marquette game scoring in the 86th percentile against post double-teams, while seeing them at a 95th percentile rate. 

Embed content O79F3en3oeA image

The Wolfpack had five players score in double figures in their ACC Tournament win against Duke, and they held the Blue Devils to 25% from beyond the arc. And not taking anything away from their win over Houston, but the Blue Devils likely would not still be playing if Cougars guard Jamal Shead did not sit out the entire second half with a sprained ankle, while NC State will be a much more formidable offense to defend than Houston’s 296th-ranked offense in terms of shot selection per ShotQuality entering the Sweet 16.

Not intended for use in MA
Affiliate Disclosure:
Sportsbook Review may receive advertising commissions for visits to a sportsbook

NC State vs. Duke spread & Over/Under analysis

Caesars is the only one of our top sports betting sites offering a spread of Duke -6, while our other best sports betting sites are currently at -6.5. FanDuel opened at -6.5 and was the only shop to get as low as -5.5, but Duke backers weighed in heavily at that number and drove the line back to its original number. bet365 is the only sportsbook to move off its original number, raising a half-point from -6 to -6.5. The Wolfpack have gotten the slight majority (60%) of the early point spread wagers.

There has been no line movement among any of our best sports betting apps regarding the total, but there is a wide one-point range among them. FanDuel has the lowest O/U at 142.5 points, while BetMGM is the lone sportsbook offering a line as high as 143.5. Both meetings between NC State and Duke this season have seen exactly 143 points scored. There has been solid two-way action on the total thus far, with a slight 55/45 split supporting the Over.

NC State vs. Duke prediction made Saturday at 7:23 a.m. ET.

Here are our best March Madness betting sites:

(21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER)
* Bonuses not applicable in Ontario.

Related pages