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Duke vs North Carolina Predictions

Last Updated: Nov 6, 2023

With plenty of changes coming to the ACC next year, it’s good to know that some things will never change, and this Saturday’s matchup between mortal rivals Duke and No. 24 North Carolina is a perfect reminder of just that.

UNC holds an all-time edge of 63-40-4 in the series, and it has won each of the last four editions. It’ll be favored to do so again, but a stout Duke defense won’t make it easy.

Who will ring the Victory Bell and reign supreme over the Tar Heel State for the next year? Find out with our free Duke Blue Devils vs North Carolina Tar Heels college football picks and predictions for Saturday, Nov. 11, at 8 p.m. ET.

Duke vs North Carolina Odds

Track our latest CFB odds for Blue Devils vs Tar Heels:

NCAAF lines used for Duke at North Carolina were current as of Sunday, Nov. 5, at 10:15 p.m. ET on DraftKings Sportsbook.

  • Moneyline: North Carolina (-440) • Duke (+340)
  • Spread: North Carolina -11 (-110) • Duke +11 (-110)
  • Total Points: Over 50.5 (-110) • Under 50.5 (-110)

With star quarterback Riley Leonard out, the Duke offense is a shell of its former self, so it’s a pretty sizable road underdog despite its solid defense. Both the diminished offense and solid defense contribute to the number being as low as 50.5, given UNC’s highly-touted offense.

Duke vs North Carolina Prediction

SCORE PICK: North Carolina 30, Duke 13

North Carolina’s defense has regressed in recent weeks, amid shocking losses to Virginia and Georgia Tech, but it’s hard to know where Duke’s offense is going to get points from with Leonard out and the QB situation beyond him being ambiguous.

This game is in Chapel Hill, and UNC will undoubtedly have a raucous home environment for perhaps its biggest rivalry game of the year.

The sensational Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye should have a nice day against a Duke defense that has also taken a visible step back in recent weeks, although it does rank 23rd in EPA per play on the season. Maye was sharp in the loss to Georgia Tech and dominant in the win over FCS Campbell, and will look to continue that good form this weekend as Duke is 11-point favorites.

Overall, Duke’s once-promising season has slipped away due to unfortunate developments out of its control, namely health at the quarterback position. It’s hard to pick a third-stringer or worse to go into a road rivalry game and compete, so we have to pick UNC by a bundle.

Duke vs North Carolina Best Bets

North Carolina -11 (-110)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

This North Carolina offense is as well-balanced as you could hope for; despite the star power of Maye and a deep receiving room headlined by transfer wideout Devontez Walker, the rushing attack is the real driving force. It ranks 10th in the country in EPA per play, led by Omarion Hampton, who has already broken the 1,000-yard threshold for the season.

Duke’s defense impressed earlier this season, but it has struggled as offensive failures have forced it to shoulder more of the load. Allowing more than 20 points each to Louisville and Wake Forest does not bode well when it comes to playing the Tar Heels, and the 38-point output for Florida State against Duke is not reason for optimism either.

Under 50.5 (-110)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

As fast as UNC likes to play, it also likes to run the ball - it does it on more than 51.5% of its offensive snaps. That will be especially true in this game, where it should stay ahead for most of the time, but against a Duke defense that grades top-50 against the run, it shouldn’t run wild to the point where it’s running up the score.

On the other side of the football, Duke is dealing with some serious quarterback questions. It’s not just the injury to Leonard, backup Henry Belin IV is hurt, too, and Grayson Loftis can’t play again if Duke wants to keep his redshirt intact.

So, we don’t know who’s going to be running the offense, but we do know it’ll be someone inexperienced going into a tough road situation.

Duke vs North Carolina Same Game Parlay

Duke vs North Carolina SGP (+130)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.50 Units

  • Under 50.5 (-110)
  • North Carolina (-440)

With few options for building a parlay almost a week before kickoff, we’ll build a same-game parlay based on the picks from above, but with a slight twist. We’re trading the UNC spread for its moneyline, giving us some insurance against a game where Duke’s defense plays close to its ceiling.

The general competitiveness of a college football rivalry game allows it to hang in there, which we’ve seen in recent weeks is possible against these Tar Heels.

Author

William Schwartz

As a former athlete and lifetime fan, sports have always been a huge part of my life. I've written about them for almost as long as I've been watching and playing them, from a blog I wrote with a friend in middle school, to journalism classes at the University of Michigan, to today. I hope to bring you entertaining coverage, strong analysis, and profitable betting picks on any and all sports, whether it's MLB baseball, college football, European soccer, or anything in between.

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