Betting on Duke vs North Carolina not what it used to be

Grant Halverson

Duke vs North Carolina remains a marquee betting matchup, even when these great rivals do not dominate the college basketball landscape.

Battles between the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels don't quite grab the headlines they once did, but Thursday night's meeting between these two Tobacco Road rivals down in Chapel Hill should still be a fun.

In the early betting on Duke vs North Carolina, the game was listed as a pick 'em, but early action pushed Duke into a one-point favorite.

The Blue Devils, who still think they've got a shot at winning another ACC regular-season title, come in having won nine of their last 10 games and ride an 8-1 ATS streak.

The Tar Heels, who a few weeks ago were only 11-7 and in danger of missing the NCAA tournament, come in riding a seven-game winning streak (covering the spread for everyone who bet on those college basketball games involving UNC).

To add a little drama to the situation, this game was supposed to be played last Wednesday, but a snowstorm caused a postponement. Duke was hoping to have a little time off before its rematch with undefeated Syracuse on Saturday, but instead they'll have to get up for a big rivalry game Thursday night.

The Blue Devils, at 10-3, and Carolina, at 8-4, trail the Orange (12-0) and Virginia (13-1) at the top of the ACC standings.

The Dukies have been pulling off a tough trick this season; they're 17-9 ATS despite being one of the betting public's favorite teams. So they're almost always a little over-rated on the betting line, and yet they've been covering regularly (8-1 ATS run, according to the Devils Tar Heels betting preview).

Carolina is 14-11 vs. the numbers this season, riding a seven-game ATS winning streak.

Duke swept two games from the Heels last season, by scores of 73-68 (in Durham) and 69-53 (at the Dean Dome). Coach K's bunch has also taken seven of the last nine meetings in the series.

Those interested in playing the total on this game might note that eight of the last 10 meetings in this series have stayed UNDER, in part because the totals on recent Duke-Carolina games have regularly been posted in the mid-150's.

Tip-off Thursday in Chapel Hill is slated for 9 pm ET, on ESPN with Dickie V. So adjust your volume accordingly.

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