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North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Duke Blue Devils Pick-Odds-Prediction 2/20/14

Duke Blue Devils (21-5) at North Carolina Tar Heels (18-7)

College Basketball: Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:00 pm (Dean Smith Center)

The Line: North Carolina Tar Heels 0 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds


The Duke Blue Devils head down the road to North Carolina to play the Tar Heels on Thursday night in what is the biggest rivalry in college basketball.

The Duke Blue Devils improved to 20-5, 9-3 ACC after beating Maryland 69-67 at home on Saturday. On the season, Jabari Parker leads the Blue Devils with 19.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Rodney Hood is averaging a solid 16.5 points per game, while Quinn Cook is averaging a team-high 5.2 assists per game. Amile Jefferson is averaging 7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game and has really helped Duke improve their rebounding numbers as the year has gone on. The Blue Devils are averaging an impressive 82.2 points per game while shooting 47.5% from the field as a team this season. Duke’s biggest weakness early on was the lack of size in the front court and their inability to rebound the basketball. What was once their weakness has become somewhat of a strength recently as they have outrebounded several of their conference opponents. The Blue Devils will hit the road where they are 3-3 on the season.

North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Duke Blue Devils Pick-Odds-Prediction 2/20/14

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The North Carolina Tar Heels improved to 18-7, 8-4 ACC after beating Florida State on the road 81-75 on Monday night. On the season, the Tar Heels are led by Marcus Paige, who is averaging a team-high 17 points and 4.6 assists per game this season. James Michael McAdoo is averaging a second-best 15 points and a team-high 6.8 rebounds per game. Brice Johnson has stepped up and is averaging 10.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. North Carolina is shooting 45.6% from the field while averaging a solid 75.8 points per game as a team this season. North Carolina ranks 9th in the country in rebounding, pulling down 41.1 boards per game as a team. The Tar Heels, led by Paige are also one of the best distributing teams, averaging 15.7 assists per game this season. North Carolina has won seven straight games after losing four out of five to start conference play. The Tar Heels will be at home for this game; North Carolina is 5-1 at home in conference play this season.

This is the biggest rivalry in college basketball and both teams are playing great basketball right now. Duke has really hit their stride and Parker is playing his best basketball of the season right now. Meanwhile, North Carolina has greatly improved since the start of the season and Paige is one of the best guards in the country. As long as Duke doesn’t get dominated on the glass, I think the Blue Devils should come away with the win on the road in what could be a high scoring game. The over may be a great play if the total is set under 160.

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