NCAA Basketball Picks: Fast Tempo Leads To High Scoring In Duke vs. North Carolina Rivalry Final

Charles Stark

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 11:28 AM GMT

The biggest rivalry in college basketball takes the floor when Duke visits North Carolina. Will we see more of a defensive battle than people anticipate for our NCAA basketball pick?

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 162½
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

NCAA Odds Overview
NCAA basketball odds have set this total at 162.5 like at Bookmaker -110. This is the biggest total of the year in which for my NCAA pick today, I will back the over. With matchups and the pace I anticipate this should be high scoring from the get go with a real high combined final score.

 

Duke Blue Devils
Duke is averaging 83.4 points per game while shooting 47.6% from the field, and allowing 70.9 points per game on 43.8% shooting from the field. On the season, they are 12-12 overall on their over under totals, and 5-5 on the road. This is a rejuvenated team that has won four games in a row and should come in to Chapel Hill with a lot of confidence. Offensively, they are one of the best in the country and rank 12th, 18th, and 19th in shooting efficiency, effective field-goal percentage, and three point shooting percentage respectively. They also rank in the top 30 in the country in field goals made per game and overall shooting percentage. I could go on, but I will keep it short, it's Duke, they can score.

Defensively, they've been less than stellar on the season, and I expect North Carolina to put up a good amount of points at home tonight. There is not really one category in which Duke has thrived on this side of the ball, and they rank in the bottom of the country in opponent field-goals attempted and made per game. Of course all of their statistics differ negatively on the road, but let's face it this is North Carolina they are facing today, and it is just down the road. Expect nothing less than a maximum effort from the Blue Devils and for them to get their share of points.

 

North Carolina Tar Heels
North Carolina is averaging 83.8 points per game while shooting 48.3% from the field, and allowing 70.2 points per game on 41.5% shooting from the field. On the season, they are 14-11 overall on their over under totals, and 8-5 at home. This will be the first time this season where the Tar Heels will get to face a ranked opponent in their own house, so they should be well fired up. Statistically, they're quite similar to Duke and they rank in the top part of the country in most offensive categories. The Tar Heels rank 17th in both overall and two point shooting percentage, and they rebound the ball extremely well. However, they don't shoot the ball from beyond the arc very well. As far as pace, UNC pushes tempo as much as anybody averaging 64.2 field-goal attempts per game ranking them ninth, and making 31 of those on average which ranks second. Defensively, like Duke, there is not a lot that sticks out when looking at their statistics on the season. They rank in the bottom of the top 100 teams in the country in opponent shooting efficiency and overall shooting percentage, but they allow opponents to shoot 36.8% from distance which ranks in the bottom part of NCAA basketball. Of course, with the tempo they push comes the tempo they allow, as opponents average 60.2 field-goal attempts per game against them, which also ranks in the bottom part of the country. With the way North Carolina likes to go at a fast pace and get teams to get up and down the floor, this has all the makings of a high-scoring affair.

There is a reason why this total is set so high, but for one of your NCAA basketball picks, I recommend going ahead and backing over this high total. From the very first tip we should see a track meet that could possibly end up being a lot closer than people anticipate. The pace will be there and if their statistics and percentages hold true this game will have a really high final.

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