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North Carolina at Duke: What bettors need to know

North Carolina Tar Heels at Duke Blue Devils (-11, 156)

Duke looks to extend its winning streak to six when the top-ranked Blue Devils and Tar Heels renew the Tobacco Road rivalry on Wednesday in Durham. Duke enters the contest in sole possession of second in the ACC, two games behind first-place Miami. Senior forward Mason Plumlee is the reigning ACC player of the week after averaging 24.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in wins over North Carolina State and Boston College.

North Carolina has won six of its past eight games, but the Tar Heels looked overmatched in an 87-61 loss at Miami on Saturday. The Tar Heels allowed the Hurricanes to shoot 54.4 percent from the field, and they’ve allowed an average of 79.6 points in their seven losses. They’ll need a much stronger effort against a Duke team that leads the ACC in scoring while averaging 75.8 points in conference action.

North Carolina is 6-1 ATS in its last seven trips to Durham and has gone 12-3 ATS and 6-9 SU in Cameron Indoor since the 1997-98 season, including an 88-70 win as a 2-point road favorite last year.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN, ESPN.

ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA (16-7, 6-4 ACC, 12-9-1 ATS): The Tar Heels allowed Miami to make a program-record 15 3-pointers, and now they’re facing the ACC’s top 3-point shooting team in Duke. Sophomore forward James Michael McAdoo will look to bounce back after posting his second single-digit scoring performance of the season against Miami, but the key player may be point guard Marcus Paige. The freshman is shooting 28 percent in his last 10 games, and he has a challenging matchup against Duke’s Quinn Cook. North Carolina forces 15.6 turnovers per game, but Duke has done a good job of protecting the basketball.

ABOUT DUKE (21-2, 8-2, 13-10 ATS): The Blue Devils have struggled defensively at times without senior forward Ryan Kelly, who is sidelined indefinitely with a right foot injury suffered Jan. 8. However, the injury has provided other players with an opportunity, including freshmen Rasheed Sulaimon and Amile Jefferson. Against North Carolina, however, the Blue Devils will rely heavily on Plumlee and Cook, who ranks second in the ACC with six assists per game. Senior Seth Curry will also be a key factor. The 6-2 senior averages 16.8 points while shooting 45.3 percent for Duke, which is a perfect 12-0 at home this season.

TRENDS:

* Tar Heels are 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings in Duke.
* Under is 6-2 in the last eight meetings.
* Favorite is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings.
* Road team is 9-2 ATS in the last 11 meetings.

TIP-INS:

1. While North Carolina leads the all-time series 132-102, Duke owns a 22-11 record since the 1998-99 season.

2. Plumlee is 28 rebounds shy of becoming the 31st player in ACC history to record 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career.

3. Duke and North Carolina split the two regular-season meetings last season for the seventh time in the last 12 years.

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