Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 5:30 PM EST.
Semi Finals of Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament - Barclays Center - Brooklyn, New York
9:00 PM ESt. It's a rivalry that goes back more than 100 years, spans multiple generations and includes 248 total meeting so far. Tonight, for the second straight season, Tobacco Row's finest will duke it out in Brooklyn. For the Blue Devils, it has been another successful year. Duke is headed to The Big Dance for the 23rd straight season after posting a 26-6 record that includes a 14-5 mark against the meat grinder that is ACC hoops. These schools have played seven times over the last two years with neither side being able to string together two wins in a row over the other. The Dukies had the upper hand last time out in Durham with a 74-64 home win. Just about one year to the day, the Blue Devils knocked the Tar Heels out of the ACC Tournament by that same 10-point margin (93-83). Duke's success at the Barclays Centre has been a big talking point this week, as it is a perfect 7-0, including 4-0 in last year's ACC tournament. The last time the Dukies were bounced from a conference tournament, it was Bonzie Colson and Notre Dame doing the honors in 2016. While the Blue Devils and Irish aren't exactly on the level of Duke/UNC, Notre Dame, and Colson, in particular, had become quite the thorn in coach Mike Krzyzewski's side. Getting rid of him and the rest of the Irish was a big deal for Duke, as Colson had given it more fits than anyone in Carolina Blue the last few seasons.
The Tar Heels were able to get past one of the most brutal losses in college basketball history in 2016 to capture their sixth National Championship last season, which was their third with head coach Roy Williams at the helm. This was supposed to be a rebuilding year in Chapel Hill, at least by Tar Heel standards, but this team still finished the season at 24-9 and the #9 school in America and they didn't take the easy road either. According to KenPom, the Tar Heels played the toughest schedule in college hoops with games against Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State highlighting their non-conference competition. A 79-75 home loss to Wofford is the most prominent wart on Carolina's season, but that game was back in late December and has very little meaning now even though it sticks out like a sore thumb to anyone who might be getting their brackets ready for the NCAA's. The market might be down on Carolina here, as it had its hands full with Miami last night in a game where the Tar Heels missed their first 13 shots and were in a 14-0 hole to start the game. Although they prevailed 82-65 it was not easy, as there were 11-lead changes, eight ties, and most of that action happened in a wild second half. Further lessening UNC's appeal is the fact that it will play its third game in three days but with Duke getting the best of it the last time these two teams played, the Tar Heels aren't likely to be flat tonight. At a price like this, we can't pass up taking back points with a team as good as UNC that can win outright.
Open an account today at Pinnacle Sports and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
#867 North Carolina +4½ -110 (Risking 2.2 units - To Win: 2.00)