North Carolina vs. Duke Prediction, Odds and Key Players for Saturday, Feb. 3 (How to bet Tobacco Road matchup)

College basketball betting preview, prediction and best bets for North Carolina vs. Duke in a Tobacco Road showdown on Saturday night.

Jan 30, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard RJ Davis (4) in action against
Jan 30, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard RJ Davis (4) in action against / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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Heated rivals North Carolina and Duke meet Saturday night in Chapel Hill, the first of two matchups between the two nearby schools.

The Tar Heels had its winning streak snapped at Georgia Tech last time out in the final seconds, but need to refocus quickly with Duke coming to the Dean Center in a game that will have massive ACC title implications.

North Carolina is a bona fide National Championship contender, can the Tar Heels prove its worth in a showcase game?

Here are the odds for this Tobacco Road, courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook, new FanDuel users can sign up below to become eligible to win $200 in bonus bets if you cash your first bet of just $5! Get started below.

Duke vs. North Carolina Odds, Spread and Total

North Carolina vs. Duke Betting Trends

  • Duke is 10-10 against the spread (ATS) this season
  • North Carolina is 13-9 ATS this season
  • North Carolina has gone UNDER in 13 of 21 games this season

Duke vs. North Carolina How to Watch

  • Date: Saturday, Feb. 3
  • Game Time: 6:00 PM EST
  • Venue: Dean Center
  • How to Watch (TV): ESPN
  • Duke Record: 16-4
  • North Carolina Record: 17-4

Duke vs. North Carolina Key Players to Watch

Duke

Kyle Filipowski: The sophomore big man scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds in a road win at Virginia Tech, but now faces a stiff test in the Tar Heels defense that has plenty of size to challenge him with big man Armanod Bacot. UNC is adept at limiting opponents all over the floor, top 20 in effective field goal percentage allowed, can Filipowski rise to the occasion? He scored 22 and grabbed 13 rebounds last season in Chapel Hill.

North Carolina

RJ Davis: Davis missed the game winning shot at Georgia Tech earlier this week, but Davis has been playing at an incredibly high level, averaging over 21 points per game. Can Davis show out for the highly ranked Heels and get the team back in the win column at the expense of a rival?

Duke vs. North Carolina Prediction and Pick

Off a loss, I like the Tar Heels to get back on track at the hands of Duke, but it may come in a high scoring affair.

UNC, for all the team's gains as a National Championship threat, aren't doing it with an overpowering offense. The Tar Heels are 11th in effective field goal percentage in ACC play, but have been nails on the defensive side of the floor, allowing the lowest effective field goal percentage.

North Carolina's elite defense runs into a surging Duke offense that is shooting over 40% from beyond the arc in ACC play. The Blue Devils are due for a step back in perimeter shooting, but it's concerning that UNC is bottom 50 in the country in terms of opponent's open three rate, per ShotQuality.

However, I'm a believer in North Carolina's offense to find answers against Duke's middling defense. The team is middle of the road in terms of defending the rim and can be had on the defensive glass against the best offensive rebounding team in ACC play, led by big man Armando Bacot (top 50 offensive rebounding rate in the country).

The pace should be fast and with neither defense known for pressuring the ball, I expect both offenses to thrive, setting up an over game on Saturday night.

PICK: OVER 151.5


Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Track Reed's bets here!