The final regular season game for many major conference teams is Saturday, but the one in Durham between Duke and North Carolina is extra special tonight.
Mike Krzyewski is coaching his 1,562nd and final regular season game, and 97th against rival North Carolina. The emotions will be overflowing at Cameron Indoor Stadium as fans paying record prices to attend show their spirit and pay tribute to the superlative Hall of Fame career of Coach K.
ESPN broadcasts the special event at 6:00 p.m. ET.
Duke is down slightly now to an 11-point favorite at FanDuel Sportsbook. The Blue Devils are ranked No. 4 in the current AP Poll, and Duke headlines Saturday’s college basketball slate that includes a number of other Top 25 teams closing out their regular season schedule.
The over/under in the Duke – North Carolina game is 152.5, and the same total as when Duke blew out North Carolina 87-67 on Feb. 5.
Based on the point spread, Duke has an 83.8% win probability. Most bettors are also supporting the Blue Devils to cover the point spread, and more than 85% of the money is banking on a higher scoring game to go over the total.
Live betting and prop bets will be most popular as bettors stay engaged and entertained during the fast-paced game. The Blue Devils possess one of the best and most versatile offenses in the country averaging 80.3 points per game. Duke also ranks top-10 in field goal shooting at 48.9%, and a sizzling 46.5% from beyond the arc over their last three games.
The Blue Devils young core is led by freshman Paolo Banchero, who leads Duke with 16.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
Banchero’s points prop is a popular bet tonight on FanDuel at over/under 17.5 points with heavier juice to the over (-132). His rebounding prop is 7.5 (Under -140). Paolo scored 13 points with 10 rebounds in Duke’s win at North Carolina Feb. 5.
Duke (26-4) is 16-3 in conference play and has secured the ACC regular season title – it’s first since 2009-10 – the same year the Blue Devils won the national championship.
North Carolina (22-8) is 14-5 in ACC play.
Duke is the No. 1 seed in next week’s ACC Tournament, ahead of March Madness and a projected No. 2 seed for the NCAA Tournament.
Coach K Tributes
Longtime ESPN college basketball broadcaster Dick Vitale paid tribute to coach K as he battles lymphoma and vocal cord dysplasia from the sidelines.
“I’d simply say, coach, you have been Awesome, baby, with a Capital A,” Vitale wrote in a letter.
Nearly 100 former Duke basketball players will be in attendance tonight showing their support of Coach K and the Duke program.
“It was mine for 42 years, but it’s Duke’s forever,” Mike Krzyzewski said, as he’s ready to let go — but not ready to see this end.
The Duke – North Carolina rivalry is one of the very best in college basketball – “The venue, the teams, the crowd, intensity,” Coach K said. “Everyone that is in that building is proud, and proud to be a part of the game.”
You can bet on it.