Weekend Hot Takes: North Carolina will destroy Duke
Is it getting hot in here or is it just our takes? BetAmerica columnists Ashley Anderson, Jeremy Balan, Ryan Murphy and Thomas Tassone share their sizzling picks for this weekend’s sports action. Handle with caution!
Ashley: No. 15 Kentucky will fall to Tennessee on the road on Saturday. The 17-5 Wildcats have struggled to find their identity at times this season and have experienced a bad run in Knoxville in the recent past. The Vols are 4-0 in the last four at home against UK and beat the Wildcats twice last season, in Knoxville and in the SEC tournament. Tennessee played No. 3 Kansas close in Lawrence last month and should come out ready to embarrass its rival on Saturday in Thompson-Boling Arena.
Jeremy: Winning on the road has been particularly difficult in the Big Ten this season, and Maryland was the best example for much of the season. Through mid-January the Terps were undefeated at home and winless on the road. But now they’re the hottest team in the Big Ten and have their first two conference wins (Northwestern and Indiana) on the road during a five-game win streak. More telling, though? Maryland is 2-0 against ranked opponents, and Illinois is just 1-4, (including a tight loss to Maryland in December). Maryland will bring its best tonight, in this battle for first place in the Big Ten. Fear the turtle.
Ryan: Do you really feel comfortable betting against Damian Lillard? I don’t. The five-time All-Star has been on a tear lately, scoring 40 points or more in five of his last eight games. His eye-popping production has Portland back in the playoff conversation and the Blazers should comfortably cover tonight against a reeling Jazz squad which has lost five straight and has been picked apart by speedy guards. Take the points and drizzle some dimes on Dame to drop 30+.
Thomas: All eyes will be on the Tobacco Road rivalry as No. 7 Duke travels 20 miles down the road for a matchup with their arch-rival North Carolina. With a 10-12 record on the season and an abysmal 3-9 record in conference play, it seems like North Carolina’s chances of making the NCAA Tournament are slim-to-none and they’ll be playing for nothing but pride. They say a hungry dog runs faster, and that’s exactly why I’m taking UNC to shock the nation with a massive upset. I think this young Duke roster riding a four-game winning streak will waltz into Chapel Hill expecting an easy win, and get blindsided by Cole Anthony and Co.