It’s not common to get a conference rematch in the Final Four, let alone one between archrivals like North Carolina and Duke. That gives us a unique perspective on what to expect from the players involved and can help bettors identify value in the player prop market. Because we’ve already seen a pair of games between these squads — Duke won 87-67 in the first matchup while UNC spoiled Coach K’s final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium with a 94-81 win — that tells us a lot about what might happen in the Final Four matchup on Saturday, a game that has Duke favored by 4.5 points.
With both teams likely to play similar styles to the first two matchups, it’s prudent to use the information we have from those meetings to hone in on prop bets that could provide us with value. But also keep in mind that UNC has looked like a different beast since the upset win over Duke to close out the regular season.
With that in mind, here are my three best bets for North Carolina Tar Heels player props vs. Duke in the Final Four.
North Carolina Tar Heels Player Props vs. Duke in NCAA Tournament March Madness Final Four
Brady Manek Prop Bet: Over 16.5 Points (-120)
Brady Manek has only failed to reach this number twice in the past eight games, including 19 in the Elite Eight against Saint Peter’s. The transfer from Oklahoma has emerged as one of Carolina’s most reliable scoring options in NCAA Tournament play, averaging 21.5 points per game during March Madness. Had he not been ejected on a controversial foul call against Baylor in the second round, Manek’s scoring average would surely be higher.
What’s more, Manek had more shot attempts than anyone else on the Tar Heels’ roster against Duke this season, taking 16 shots in each matchup with the Blue Devils. He has the size to deal with Paolo Banchero on the inside, and the ability hit 3-pointers as well, going 11-for-20 from behind the arc versus Duke in the those two games. His numbers in the two previous contests are almost identical — 7-for-16 for 21 points and 7-for-16 for 20 points. If we’re relying on the past to dictate the future, then Manek should top this points prop on Saturday.
Brady Manek Best Bet: Over 16.5 Points (-120), available on PointsBet
Caleb Love Prop Bet: Over 3.5 Assists (-130)
The Tar Heels averaged just under one assist on every two baskets against Duke in the two regular-season meetings (28 assists on 57 made shots), and that means Caleb Love is likely to find at least a few opportunities to set up the players around him. Love had four assists in the first meeting, a game where the Tar Heels only managed 67 points, and added another five in UNC’s upset win.
Again, using what we already know about North Carolina and Duke, that suggests that Love will dish out at least four assists again in the national semifinal.
Caleb Love Best Bet: Over 3.5 Assists (-130), available on PointsBet
R.J. Davis Prop Bet: Under 1.5 3-Pointers (+115)
R.J. Davis has gone 7-for-23 from deep in the NCAA Tournament, but five of those makes came in one game against the Baylor Bears. Take those out, and he’s gone a mere 2-for-13 from behind the arc.
Seeing the Blue Devils’ defense might not help matters, as Davis managed just two 3-pointers combined in the two meetings with Duke, I’m on the under here. Two 3-pointers might seem like a low number, but with Davis having failed to hit this number in three of the past four games while facing a team that knows how to defend him, I love the plus money on this prop bet.
R.J. Davis Best Bet: Under 1.5 3-Pointers (+115), available on PointsBet
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