Duke (@2.45) vs North Carolina (@1.53)
26-10-2019

Our Prediction:

North Carolina will win

Duke – North Carolina Match Prediction | 26-10-2019 16:00

Both the offense and defense rank in the 90s of S&P+ and they struggle to do fundamentally important things well. There's blood in the water and the Blue Devils should attack from the whistle. Duke shouldn't have any problem getting up for this game. The Heels are one of the worst teams in the country at setting up field position (107th off, 106th def). All of these weakness get compounded by the Tar Heels pace, 37th nationally, which allows for more possessions and thus more chances for their opponent to capitalize on their mistakes. The defense gives up big plays and fails to stop 3rd and short chances. North Carolina even has one of the worst turnover differentials in the nation. It's pretty much all bad. For whatever reason, UNC is just bad now. The offense is 2nd to last in scoring when drives get inside their opponents 40 yard line.

The Blue Devils have come out strong offensively in big games this season and I expect Zion Williamson and co. will be ready for what will most likely be their lone shot at the Tar Heels in Cameron. This should be an offensive showdown with Duke and North Carolina both sporting top-five scoring offenses and elite 3-point threats with Cam Reddish and Cameron Johnson, respectively. While the Blue Devils will need to be efficient from the field, the key for Duke will be on the interior. If Williamson and Marques Bolden can utilize their size advantages to dominate the paint and clean the glass, North Carolina will have trouble slowing down the rolling Blue Devils.

But this wont be an easy victory by any meansif the Tar Heels get hot from the perimeter, theyre capable of beating anybody anywhere. R.J. In a game that appears destined to be an up-and-down shootout, with both Duke and North Carolina in the top 20 in the nation in tempo, I think the Blue Devils will have a little too much offensive firepower for the Tar Heels to handle, especially at home. Barrett, Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish could all erupt against North Carolinas inconsistent defense, and I expect Tre Jones to force freshman Coby White into at least a couple live-ball turnovers leading to easy transition buckets.

Duke vs North Carolina Head-to-Head

His ability to score from outside will force Duke big men like DeLaurier and Marques Bolden to step out of the paint and guard him, which will open up the offense for North Carolina. Luke Maye enters his final home game in Tarheel blue as one of the most prolific rebounders in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference. He is also more than capable of getting buckets when needed, even though his production has dipped from last year.

David Cutcliffe has won four of the last six against Larry Fedora and I don't expect this weekend's game to tilt into Fedora's favor, especially not if he's without any other QBs than Elliott, who has struggled all year. I don't expect this to be a blowout, but Duke should win comfortably enough that fans leave the stadium early (although they shouldn't because they'll miss out on a fireworks show). Deon Jackson is a legit running back, and Duke's defensive front seemed to figure some things out last weekend against Miami. Although the Tar Heels are nowhere near as bad as their 1-7 record, losing can become a habit and UNC has gotten good at it. Duke is starting to figure things out with their reserves playing bigger roles as a rotating carousel of starters have been knocked out of games due to injury, with a piecemeal interior offensive line providing a recovering Daniel Jones enough time to find receivers for the 2nd-most receiving touchdowns in the ACC. Although many of our message board members would like us to pick against Duke for some sort of reverse jinx, I don't think it'd be prudent to do that this week with UNC and Nathan Elliott coming to town.

Can Duke get to seven wins for the fifth time in the last six years this weekend or will that have to wait for another day? The Tobacco Road rivalry, like always, will be hotly contested. Coming off an upset win over Miami last weekend on the road, the Blue Devils are looking for their first home ACC win this weekend.

Even open off-the-bounce 3s arent easy, and a shooter lacking conviction probably wont make them. If Duval lazes through ball screens and Berry cant hit open shots, Duke will be fine. This is a prime opportunity for the North Carolina captain to regain his 2016-17 form. But Berry is a generally confident dude who has perked up as of late he scored 27 points against Clemson and is 7-for-15 from 3 in his last two games.

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On the defensive side of the ball, North Carolina allowed 14 completions on 21 throws totaling 236 yards, and a completion percentage of 66.7%. The Tar Heels ended up running the ball 40 times and racked up 143 yards which gave them an average of 3.6 yards per rush. He had an average of 12.4 yards per reception in the game. He racked up a total of 91 yards via 13 carries which had him averaging 7.0 yards per tote. The last time they took the field, the North Carolina Tar Heels went up against the Virginia Tech Hokies and were beaten 43-41. For the game, they ran 89 plays which added up to 491 yards. Michael Carter paced the team in rushing in the game. Dazz Newsome was the receiving yardage leader with a total of 112 yards on 9 receptions. He had a long run of 28 yards but he wasn't able to rush for a TD on the day. For the contest, the Tar Heels got 23 first downs and they had 9 penalties for 69 yards which shows us how undisciplined this team can be. In the game, they conceded a total of 490 yards and forced 2 turnovers. In the running game, the Tar Heels allowed 254 yards on 60 runs which is an average of 4.2 yards per carry allowed. Leading the way at QB for the Tar Heels was Sam Howell who went 26/49 with 348 yards passing and added 5 touchdowns. He finished this contest without throwing a pick.

Coby White and Cameron Johnson have exploded as one of the most dangerous backcourt duos in the NCAA. If Duke struggles to clamp down on perimeter defense and fails to stretch the floor well enough to let Williamson go to work, the Blue Devils may be left with a bitter taste in their mouth and another letdown home loss. However, the Blue Devils must stay wary. Barrett and Cam Reddish. Unfortunately for North Carolina, an already weakened porous front court will have to find a way to stop Zion Williamson. Although Garrison Brooks and Luke Maye have been solid on interior defense, neither of them match up well with a freight train like Williamson, likely forcing double or triple teams and leaving the perimeter open for R.J. Although this years batch of Tar Heels boasts the same high-tempo, glass-crashing identity of past North Carolina teams, the Tar Heels critically lack a dominant inside presence like Kennedy Meeks or Brice Johnson.

It got blown out at home against UNC, lost to Virginia Tech on the road, then needed a last-second basket not to fall to survive an 11-18 (4-13, ACC) Wake Forest team, 71-70. Duke has struggled mightily without Zion. If Coach K isnt playing mind games and Williamson does sit out, Duke will need to shut the Tar Heels down inside and hope for some terrible outside shooting to beat their rivals on senior night.

If Williamson and Marques Bolden can utilize their size advantages to dominate the paint and clean the glass, North Carolina will have trouble slowing down the rolling Blue Devils. The Blue Devils have come out strong offensively in big games this season and I expect Zion Williamson and co. While the Blue Devils will need to be efficient from the field, the key for Duke will be on the interior. This should be an offensive showdown with Duke and North Carolina both sporting top-five scoring offenses and elite 3-point threats with Cam Reddish and Cameron Johnson, respectively. will be ready for what will most likely be their lone shot at the Tar Heels in Cameron.

Duke vs. North Carolina A&T Prediction, Line

Outside of that game, Reddish has failed to reach 20 points in the following four games and laid 5 and 6 point eggs against Syracuse and Wake Forest respectively. When Williamson went down in Durham, it was widely expected that Cam Reddish would easily replace this scoring production. The 3rd ranked recruit in the 2018 class will need to have stronger performances than that in order for Duke to navigate the schedule ahead if Williamson is out for an extended time.

On paper, Duke should win this in a walk, but the UNC offense started to show more of a spark early on last week. As good as the Blue Devils have been, the pass rush will slow down just a little bit, the offense will come up with a few mistakes that havent been there so far, and the Tar Heels will get their revenge.