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North Carolina vs. Duke - 2/8/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Duke Blue Devils (19-4) at North Carolina Tar Heels (17-7)

College Basketball: Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 8:00 pm (Dean Smith Center)

The Line: North Carolina Tar Heels +1 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels meet Thursday in college basketball action at the Dean E. Smith Center.

The Duke Blue Devils need a win here after losing two of their last three games. The Duke Blue Devils are averaging 89.6 points on 50.7 percent shooting and allowing 72.4 points on 41 percent shooting. Marvin Bagley III is averaging 21.4 points and 11.2 rebounds while Gary Trent Jr is averaging 15 points and 1.6 assists. Grayson Allen is the third double-digit scorer and Wendell Carter Jr is grabbing 9.6 rebounds. The Duke Blue Devils are shooting 38.9 percent from beyond the arc and 68.9 percent from the free throw line. The Duke Blue Devils are allowing 34.5 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 42.6 rebounds per game. The Duke Blue Devils have split their last six road games.

North Carolina vs. Duke - 2/8/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The North Carolina Tar Heels also need a win after losing three of their last four games. The North Carolina Tar Heels are averaging 82.8 points on 46.4 percent shooting and allowing 72.8 points on 41.6 percent shooting. Luke Maye is averaging 18.3 points and 10.3 rebounds while Joel Berry II is averaging 17.3 points and 3.1 assists. Kenny Williams is the third double-digit scorer and Cameron Johnson is grabbing 4.4 rebounds. The North Carolina Tar Heels are shooting 37.2 percent from beyond the arc and 73.4 percent from the free throw line. The North Carolina Tar Heels are allowing 38.2 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 43.4 rebounds per game. The North Carolina Tar Heels have won five of their last six home games.

The Blue Devils are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 vs. Atlantic Coast, 10-3-1 ATS in their last 14 road games and 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS loss. The Tar Heels are 35-15-2 ATS in their last 52 home games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win. The Blue Devils are 3-0-1 ATS in the last 4 meetings in North Carolina, 4-1-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings and the underdog is 7-3-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings.

Duke has really struggled on the road this season and is playing a UNC team that plays great ball at both ends of the court and is outscoring teams by nearly 16 points at home. However, Duke is the better and more talented team overall and has an offense that will make it tough for the Tar Heels to keep up if those outside shots are falling. Also, the road team has won four of the last six meetings between North Carolina and Duke. In a near toss-up, I'm going to side with the better team and back the Duke Blue Devils.

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