Best Duke vs. North Carolina Betting Picks for Saturday, Feb. 3

Who has the edge in the first Duke-UNC matchup of the season?

Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
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It's our favorite time of the year. College basketball's greatest rivalry is back, and with both teams rolling, it will be a doozy.

No. 7 Duke (16-4, 7-2 ACC) is visiting No. 3 North Carolina (17-4, 9-1) at the Dean E. Smith Center on Saturday night. This marks the first time since 2019 and the 49th time ever that both teams are ranked in the top 10 nationally when they match up.

The Blue Devils have won three straight, and the Tar Heels are undefeated at home (9-0) this season. The winner of this game will not only take the driver's seat in the conference, but they will also have the momentum behind them to win the ACC championship.

Last year, the Blue Devils won both games between the two teams. North Carolina wants to give Jon Scheyer his first taste of defeat as a head coach in the battle of the blues.

And they are favored to do so as the Tar Heels are a 4.5-point favorite against Duke on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Duke vs. North Carolina Odds, Spread and Total

Duke vs. North Carolina Betting Pick and Prediction

Making a prediction is always difficult when these two giants take the court. There is too much talent on both sides that can change the game. Kyle Filipowski on one end and the lethal two-man game of Armando Bacot and R.J. Davis on the other side will be the determining factors.

Filipowski dominated the matchup at Smith Center last season with 22 points and 13 rebounds, and he is a much more polished offensive player right now. If Filipowksi doesn't get in foul trouble, he will be very difficult to guard.

Duke is the best shooting team in the ACC this season in volume and accuracy. They have multiple players who can light it up from outside, while North Carolina is middle of the pack in that department.

The Blue Devils have a better chance at slowing down Davis with Jeremy Roach and Tyrese Proctor than the Tar Heels do Duke's shooting. This should help the Blue Devils to stay in the game and keep it close. Therefore, Duke +4.5 is a solid choice here.

Also, eight of the last nine North Carolina games have gone under. UNC is, first and foremost, a defensive team this season. They might slow things down and turn this into a defensive, grit-and-grind-style battle.

Last season, 120 and 119 total points were scored in their two matchups. The under is a good option for bettors who don't want to pick a side.

Picks: Duke +4.5, Under 151.5

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.