NCAA CBB Best Bets: Duke-UNC Rivalry Renewed

Feb 03, 2023
NCAA College Basketball Best Bets (February 4)

Another Saturday featuring triple-digit college basketball games has arrived.

With the calendar flipping to February, we are entering the home stretch of the college basketball regular season. It won’t be long until we are all filling out our March Madness brackets. But let’s enjoy this loaded slate of games first, which is headlined by a showdown between Duke and North Carolina in the evening.

The Big 12 has plenty of interesting matchups, as it always does, with Texas and Kansas State slated to meet in Manhattan. In addition, there are compelling conference battles such as Purdue-Indiana, Virginia-Virginia Tech, and Gonzaga-Saint Mary’s to close out the night.

Let’s take a look at a few of my favorite bets for Saturday’s slate, but remember to check our Discord for any additional plays over the weekend.

Today’s CBB Best Bets

Kansas -0.5 at Iowa State (-110, FanDuel)

The Jayhawks opened as a 1.5-point underdog at FanDuel, but this line quickly moved to a pick'em on Friday. We saw this game on Jan. 14 in Lawrence, when the Cyclones came up just short in a 62-60 Kansas victory. The idea is that Hilton Coliseum will produce a different outcome, which is why KenPom projects a 68-67 win for ISU.

But I disagree with that notion. Iowa State is reeling a bit, having lost four of its last six games, including an 80-77 overtime collapse against Texas Tech on Monday. Kansas, meanwhile, has won back-to-back games since dropping three in a row when fans thought the sky was falling. KU’s latest victory was a convincing 90-78 victory over Kansas State on Tuesday.

This is also a bit of a matchup play for me, as Iowa State’s over-helping defense led to some open looks for Kansas. Freshman Gradey Dick knocked down five three-pointers in that game, taking nine unguarded jump shots, per Synergy Sports Technology. Perhaps ISU realizes Dick is one of the better shooters in the country this time around, but we saw enough from KU’s supporting cast a few days ago to give me confidence in backing the road team to prevail.

Risk: 1.1 units on FanDuel to win 1 unit. (Playable to -1.5)

Kansas State vs. Texas Under 149.5 Points (-110, PointsBet)

Full disclosure: This bet isn’t going to be an easy one to make. These two teams played a month ago, in which Kansas State recorded a 116-103 win down in Austin. That NBA score was pretty much K-State’s coming out party, as we started taking Jerome Tang’s squad seriously after that.

Why am I recommending the under then? Well, that game closed at 137 and this feels like a huge market overreaction from that. I project this total to be in the mid-140s, as this would be the highest total for either team all season.

Texas, in particular, has had three of its previous five totals below the 140-point mark. Both teams rank outside the top 270 in point distribution from the three-point range, so neither team is really going to shoot anyone out of the gym despite what we saw in early January. I didn’t feel great about the side in a toss-up battle, but the under is my favorite play for this game.

Risk: 1.1 units at PointsBet to win 1 unit. (Playable to 147.5)

North Carolina at Duke Over 143 (-110, DraftKings)

We couldn’t have a best bets column for this slate and not talk about North Carolina vs. Duke. Especially since this will be the first such rivalry meeting without Mike Krzyzewski at the helm for Duke. This total opened right in line with KenPom’s projection, which has Duke earning a 73-70 win in this rivalry matchup. But that total seems a bit low based on my expectations.

UNC has cashed six consecutive under tickets entering this matchup, but this would be the second-lowest mark over that span. The Tar Heels are a team with plenty of playmakers but are shooting just 31.1% from long range. They are due for some positive regression and continue to play at an up-tempo pace.

Duke, meanwhile, ranks 269th in pace and has cashed just one over the last five outings. That said, we did just see the Blue Devils push on a total of 148 against Wake Forest last time out, and they could find similar offensive success this time around. This is a smaller play based on recent results, but I think this total is a touch too low.

Risk: 0.55 units on DraftKings to win 0.5 units. (Playable to 144)

For the most up-to-date picks check out my Twitter and subscribe to our Discord. This sheet from Dan Rivera tracks all my betting picks (and those from the rest of the betting staff) on the year. Just click on the tab with my name on it for the results.

This article is intended for entertainment purposes and adult users only. Call 1-800-GAMBLER if you have a gambling problem

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