The Duke Blue Devils have answered the bell in the NCAA Tournament to keep coach Mike Krzyzewski’s career alive — and now the Blue Devils have to do it one more time against a familiar opponent, the North Carolina Tar Heels. Duke has had no problems putting up big numbers against North Carolina in recent meetings, as the team has scored at least 80 points in five of the past six contests with the Tar Heels, including 87 and 81 in the two previous games this season.
Duke has also been scoring the ball well in the NCAA Tournament, averaging just under 80 points per game. If that continues on Saturday against North Carolina, in a game with an over/under total of 151.5, the Blue Devils players are likely to see some prop bet overs cash.
Here are my three best bets for Duke Blue Devils player props vs. UNC in the Final Four.
Duke Blue Devils Player Props vs. UNC in NCAA Tournament March Madness Final Four
Paolo Banchero Prop Bet: Over 17.5 Points (-120)
With how well Paolo Banchero has played in this tournament and how comfortable North Carolina was with letting him shoot the ball in the second meeting — the game the Tar Heels won — I expect Banchero to get his points here. The freshman took 26 shots in the most recent matchup with North Carolina, making 11 on his way to a 23-point night. And the Tar Heels are likely to allow him to shoot again, while focusing on denying Duke’s other shooters, given how well it worked as UNC spoiled Coach K’s final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Banchero has also been the focal point of the Blue Devils’ offense throughout March Madness, averaging 18.5 points per game in the tournament. Regardless of what the Tar Heels want Duke to do, look for Banchero to score early and often here.
Paolo Banchero Best Bet: Over 17.5 Points (-120), available on PointsBet
Mark Williams Prop Bet: Under 9.5 Rebounds (-120)
It might seem foolish to go under on a man who snagged 13 rebounds in the second matchup between Duke and North Carolina, but Mark Williams has gone under this number in three of Duke’s four NCAA Tournament games. Williams usually dominates on the boards, but North Carolina represents a tougher matchup than usual with Armando Bacot and Brady Manek down low.
And Williams will have to compete against his own teammate in this scenario. Banchero, not Williams, is Duke’s leading rebounder, and both will be battling the Carolina big men on the glass. I think that’s too many bodies to count on Williams getting to double-digit rebounds in the national semifinal on Saturday night.
Mark Williams Best Bet: Under 9.5 Rebounds (-120), available on PointsBet
AJ Griffin Prop Bet: Over 1.5 3-Pointers (-165)
Given that AJ Griffin has been shooting the deep ball well in postseason play — he’s hit at least two 3-pointers in four of Duke’s past six games — this seems like a very reasonable play to make. What you’re hoping for here is that Griffin gets as many 3-point looks as he did against Texas Tech (ACC Tournament) and Cal State Fullerton (NCAA Tournament First Round), when he had seven 3-point attempts each.
In the two previous contests against North Carolina, Griffin has gone 4-for-9 from behind the arc. I expect his shot total to be more like the first meeting between the teams (3-of-6) than the second (1-of-3). Look for Griffin to keep his 3-point streak alive and hit the over against UNC.
AJ Griffin Best Bet: Over 1.5 3-Pointers (-165), available on PointsBet
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