NCAA Basketball Pick on North Carolina, Duke ‘under’ Total

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 6:19 PM GMT

Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015 6:19 PM GMT

Each day the LT Profits Sports Group seeks out a total that simply does not add up and therefore offers the most value that day. Here is their Total Value Play of the Day for Wednesday.

 



The posted total seems inflated Wednesday night in what is traditionally the biggest ACC matchup of the season when the North Carolina Tar Heels (18-7, 5-3 away) make the short 10-mile trip to visit the Duke Blue Devils (22-3, 11-1 home) at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, NC at 9:00 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPN.

The posted total at Bet365 is 155 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -110.


Duke Still Aiming for One-Seed
The close proximities of these two colleges makes this one of the best in-state rivalries in all of sports, but besides bragging rights, Duke is still trying to earn a one-seed in the NCAA Tournament, so every game is a big one. The Blue Devils have lost just three times this season, but a home loss to the Miami Hurricanes is probably keeping them off of one-lines in a lot of brackets right now, so they would love to win out and get some help.

North Carolina is safely in the Big Dance but the Tar Heels are not in the best of form right now being losing NCAA Basketball picks in three of their last four games. And the lone win in this span came vs. the last-place team in the ACC, the 1-11 Boston College Eagles. The Heels are now fifth on the conference with an 8-4 ACC mark, although that is just one game behind 9-3 Duke as both teams are chasing 12-1 Virginia, whose lone loss came to Duke.


Overlooked Defense
As you might expect, Duke is eighth in the country with its 80.3 points per game, and it is also the only team with three freshmen averaging double-digits in Jahlil Okafor (18.2 points per game), Justise Winslow (11.4) and Tyus Jones (11.3). What often gets overlooked though is that this Duke team plays decent defense too, allowing 64.9 points per game on 42.8 percent shooting overall and 63.2 points per contest on 42.3 percent shooting here at Cameron Indoor.

The Blue Devils are 56th in the country in defensive efficiency and all of their games this season are averaging a combined 145.2 points, mainly due to the great offense. But take note that combined average is still nearly 10 full points less than this posted total! Yes the Duke scoring average jumps to a robust 87.8 points at home, where all games are averaging a combined 151.0 points, but even that high average is four full points less than this total.


Third Straight Roadie for Slumping Heels
Besides North Carolina being in a slump right now, this is also the Tar Heels’ third straight road game since a home loss to those ACC leading Virginia Cavaliers. Granted North Carolina is still 17th in the nation with its 78.7 points per game, but that average slips to 71.8 points during the current three-loss-in-four-game skid, and like Duke, the overall averages of UNC games this year are less than this total.

That is because all Tar Heel games are averaging a combined 147.0 points and all of their road games are averaging 148.7 points. Sure North Carolina enters this contest on a 6-1 ‘over’ run, but only two of those seven games produced enough points to go over this 155 total.

Also, while North Carolina is not as young as Duke, it still starts five underclassmen so there will be a lot of youth on the court tonight for both teams. That could lead to a lot of nerves, especially for the freshmen that are experiencing this rivalry for the first time ever.


Head-to-Head Series Always Has Inflated Totals
Finally, these teams are used to playing to bloated totals whenever they oppose each other due to each school’s offensive reputation, and because many of those totals have been artificially inflated, it is the ‘under’ that has gone 9-3 in the last 12 head-to-head meetings.

With this latest renewal of the rivalry also seeming to have an inflated total based on season averages, look for yet another ‘under’ when North Carolina visits Duke on Wednesday.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: North Carolina, Duke ‘under’ 155 (-110)

 

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