College Football Betting: North Carolina at Duke

College Football Betting:  North Carolina at Duke

The North Carolina/Duke football rivalry might not be in the same league as Tarheels v. Blue Demons in basketball but at least both schools are no longer a joke on the gridiron. North Carolina has had a decent amount of football success and are 5-5 on the 2014 season. The Tar Heels have won three of their last four games and are coming off a victory over Pittsburgh. Duke’s football fortunes have risen dramatically in the past few years. The Blue Devils are 8-2 on the season coming off a one point loss to Syracuse.

For most of the past two decades this series has been dominated by North Carolina. The Blue Demons were able to hold their own against the spread (12-10 ATS) but North Carolina has won 19 of the last 22 games in the series including 10 of 11 at Duke. Times are changing, however, and Duke has won the last two seasons both straight up and against the spread. In the process, the Blue Devils have become an extremely profitable pointspread team. The Blue Devils are 7-3 ATS this year and enter this contest on an overall 16-5 ATS run. They’re 4-1 ATS at home this year and 14-5 ATS at home since the start of the 2012 season. They’re 5-2 ATS as a favorite and on a 13-3 ATS run when getting points.

Some bettors might get hoodwinked by the 11 point swing since last year. In 2013, North Carolina was a -5 point favorite and this year Duke is a -6 point favorite. In our view, that is a mistake. UNC quarterback Marquis Williams is a good one but he and the Tarheels simply don’t have the consistency of this Duke team. The Blue Devils’ improvement is no fluke–they have a very potent offense and a serviceable defense. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it might be a year or two before North Carolina is able to hang with Duke. The Tar Heels might have better luck next week facing another in-state rival–North Carolina State is 6-5 overall but just 2-5 in ACC play. We look for Duke to win by 10 or more in a game that stays just ‘Under’ the very high total.