North Carolina won the ACC regular season. Duke won the ACC tournament.
After Duke won two of their three head-to-head meetings this season, could there be a fourth?
One Las Vegas betting service thinks so.
Bovada.LV installed the Tar Heels and Blue Devils as co-favorites to win the NCAA tournament title on Monday morning, placing the rivals’ odds at 13/2.
Never miss a local story.
Since Duke and UNC are on opposite sides of the tournament bracket, the could meet in the April 3 championship game in Phoenix to decide it all.
Gamblers are clearly putting their money on Duke after the Blue Devils (27-8) became the first team to win four games in four days at the ACC tournament. That included a semifinal win over UNC.
“It seems clear who the public is on early and it is the red-hot Blue Devils at 13/2,” Kevin Bradley, Bovada’s sports book manager, said Monday. “The Dukies are already taking 10 percent of all bets to win it all and anyone who bet them earlier this year at 20/1 received great odds. Michigan, after winning the Big Ten tournament, is also a popular bet as they have already dropped from 40/1 to 25/1.”
Duke was the preseason No. 1-ranked team by the Associated Press before a series of injuries led to a slow start in ACC play. But after winning just three of their first seven league games. The Blue Devils rattled off seven consecutive wins.
By the middle of February, Bovada had re-installed Duke as the favorite to win the NCAA title.
Duke enters the NCAA tournament having won 12 of its last 15 games, including two wins over a UNC team which is seeded No.1 in the South region.
The Tar Heels are the favorites to win that region at 5/4, followed by Kentucky (11/4), UCLA (5/1). Butler and Wichita State are both 10/1.
Despite Duke being tied with UNC as the odds-on NCAA championship favorite, the Blue Devils aren’t favored to win their region. That honor belongs to reigning NCAA champion Villanova, the region’s top seed at 8/5.
Duke is next at 5/2, followed by SMU and Virginia at 8/1 and Baylor at 9/1.
In the Midwest region, top-seeded Kansas is the favorite at 11/5, followed by Louisville (7/2), Oregon (4/1), Purdue (5/1) and Iowa State (10/1).
In the West region, Gonzaga is the favorite (8/5) followed by Arizona (2/1), West Virginia (11/2), Florida State (8/1) and St. Mary’s (10/1).