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North Carolina vs. Duke Same-Game Parlay: Value on Tar Heels' Frontline

North Carolina vs. Duke Same-Game Parlay: Value on Tar Heels' Frontline
Armando Bacot #5 of the North Carolina Tar Heels dunks past Mark Williams #15 of the Duke Blue Devils during the first half at Cameron Indoor Stadium on March 5. Photo by Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images via AFP

We’ve identified our favorite plays from the North Carolina-Duke matchup in the Final Four to put together a same-game parlay with an impressive return of 8-to-1.

The most anticipated installment in the history of the UNC-Duke rivalry is upon us. When it’s so compelling that country music superstar Eric Church cancels a sold-out show in San Antonio just so he can be in the crowd at the Superdome in New Orleans – and admits it publicly – you know this is going to be something special.

We have some good news for Church, a noted lifelong Tar Heels fan: Our same-game parlay on Saturday’s affair involves nothing too detrimental for his team. Though we’re not including a moneyline bet in our SGP, we’ve got a viewpoint on the total and an alternate point spread. Then we throw in a couple of Tar Heels player props to form a solid four-leg beauty with +800 odds.

Here are my top same-game parlay picks for the Final Four matchup between North Carolina and Duke (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook; pick confidence based on 1-to-5-star scale).

North Carolina-Duke Same-Game Parlay Picks

  • Over 151.5 (-110) ★★★
  • Armando Bacot Under 12.5 rebounds (+110) ★★★★★
  • Brady Manek Over 5.5 rebounds (-140) ★★★★
  • Alternate spread: UNC +10.5 (-250) ★★★★★

SEE ALSO: North Carolina-Duke Final Four Picks and Odds

Top North Carolina-Duke Same-Game Parlay Predictions

Over 151.5 (-110)

When exploring the merits of a bet I’m leaning toward, I like to take a moment to envision the ways it could conceivably go wrong. In the case of this lofty Over in the first-ever NCAA Tournament edition of the Tobacco Road rivalry, it’s the darn stadium that could dash our dreams. Caesars Superdome is a massive building, and as we’ve seen in past iterations of basketball games being played in gigantic stadium settings, sightlines and comfort tend to cause problems for shooters. If that’s the case Saturday, you can probably kiss the Over goodbye before the end of the first half. After all, it’s a pretty large number.

Then again, it’s a number that North Carolina and Duke have combined to exceed in both of the games the two teams have played against one another this season. The most recent meeting saw both sides eclipse 80 points in a matchup that featured 175 total points. That’s the firepower of which these two tremendous offensive teams are capable.

Duke enters this contest as the top team in the entire nation this season in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency. North Carolina ranks a little lower, but still inside the top 20 in the category. The Tar Heels also boast a much swifter tempo on average than the Blue Devils, which should more than make up for any differential inefficiencies between the two squads.

UNC wants to push the pace and assert itself in this game the same way it did when it beat Duke at Cameron Indoor recently. That should lead to another game in the 160-plus point range, even in a stadium that could conceivably be less comfortable for shooters. Of course, with the way UNC operates in transition, players don’t need to worry much about sightlines when they’re dunking the basketball. Give me the Over to kick off the same-game parlay.

SEE ALSO: Villanova vs. Kansas Same-Game Parlay Picks

Bacot Under 12.5 rebounds (+110)

North Carolina’s Armando Bacot has been supremely skilled on the boards throughout this NCAA Tournament, registering double-digit figures on the glass in each of his team’s four games. He has eclipsed the total prescribed by DraftKings on his rebounds for Saturday’s Final Four game in each of his last three contests – in fact, he’s logged at least 15 rebounds in his previous three games, culminating with 22 boards in the Elite Eight win over St. Peter’s.

So why the fade here? Although Bacot averages 12.8 rebounds per game on the season, his numbers in two games against Duke on the campaign are noticeably lesser: five and seven rebounds, respectively. Bacot saw 30 minutes in each previous battle with the Blue Devils, but was held out of double-figures easily in both games. Those two performances are just two of five games on the year where Bacot played at least 20 minutes and failed to register double-digit rebounds.

Duke doesn’t seem to be Bacot’s best matchup on the glass, and due to the strength of his recent outputs, this line is arguably inflated beyond consideration of the difficulties of rebounding against this particular team. For as exceptional of a player as he’s been throughout this tournament, I see Bacot falling short of the number here.

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Manek Over 5.5 rebounds (-140)

Where Bacot may flounder, another big man on his team will have to pick up the slack. The matchup on the glass has been more favorable in two games against Duke this season for Brady Manek, as the Oklahoma transfer has put together efforts of six and 11 rebounds against the Blue Devils. Though Manek averages under six rebounds per game on the season, he has averaged eight per contest during this tournament, only once falling below the total of 5.5 at DraftKings for Saturday.

Manek was ejected during UNC’s win over Baylor, which was a contributing factor toward the Tar Heels nearly suffering the largest collapse in college basketball history. After being forced to watch from the sideline the ways his team tends to appear lost without him, I look for Manek to keep an extra fire in his belly this weekend. The 6-foot-9 senior will be emphatic in his desire to impose his will on this Final Four matchup and should be a fiend on the glass in order to clear this manageable number.

Alt Line: UNC +10.5 (-250)

I don’t necessarily have a good read on whether to ride with Duke or UNC on the point spread for this game. Duke is -4 in most spots and I’m not confident in taking the Blue Devils to cover that number. Yet, I also don’t like the value of UNC on the spread while only getting four points, especially not for the purposes of a parlay.

I added this alternate line to the already-existing three-leg parlay in order to push the odds up to +800 as I believe the Tar Heels’ offense is just too explosive at this point in the year to get housed by Duke by such a significant margin.

It’s not a play that makes much sense as a standalone, but in the context of a four-leg parlay, I like adding this play into the mix to spice things up.

Combined Odds: Over 151.5 (-110) + Bacot Under 12.5 rebounds (+110) + Manek Over 5.5 rebounds (-140) + UNC +10.5 (-250) = +800

Where to Bet on North Carolina-Duke Same-Game Parlay Picks

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North Carolina-Duke same-game parlay picks made 4/2/2022 at 1:31 a.m.