It was a painful ending for Tobacco Road’s favorite sons in the 2022 men's NCAA Basketball Tournament, though there’s reason for optimism in the year ahead.
Hope in this case comes from Duke having ESPN’s No. 1 ranked recruiting class, which is headlined by No. 2 overall recruit Dereck Lively.
For North Carolina, optimism stems from having the fifth-ranked class in the nation, with five-star center Jalen Washington (No. 22 overall in the country) leading the charge.
That influx of high school talent should allow the Blue Devils and Tar Heels to shine on the court, even after Duke replaces legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski with first-time head coach Jon Scheyer.
The Heels, on the other hand, appear set for years to come under coach Hubert Davis, who led UNC to a 29-10 record and the program’s first NCAA title game appearance in five years this season.
Here’s a breakdown of both teams’ North Carolina sports betting championship odds along with other contenders:
2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tittle Odds
|🏀 North Carolina||+1400|
|🏀 Texas Tech||+2500|
Duke, UNC 2023 National Title Frontrunners
The Blue Devils and Tar Heels appear set to do anything but miss a beat in the year ahead, with both ranking among the NCAA title favorites in 2023.
Duke finds itself as the sole frontrunner on DraftKings Sportsbook’s NCAA title odds board at +900, in addition to ranking first on BetMGM (+800) and in a tie for first at FanDuel Sportsbook (+1300). Caesars Sportsbook puts the Blue Devils in a tie for third overall with Arizona and Kentucky at +1500.
There are currently two retail casinos in the state where you can place bets — Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, an hour west of Asheville, and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino in Murphy. But with work going on in the legislature, there is hope North Carolina bettors could have mobile sports betting by next year’s Final Four.
For the Tar Heels, the best NCAA championship odds are at DraftKings Sportsbook, where UNC is No. 2 overall behind Duke at +1100.
Elsewhere, UNC is listed at +1400 on BetMGM (tied sixth), +1500 on FanDuel Sportsbook (tied for sixth with Kentucky), and +1800 on Caesars Sportsbook (tied for seventh with UCLA and Baylor).
Send in the High School Reinforcements
So far, Duke has signed five recruits, while UNC has four locked down in 2022.
Scheyer’s first class includes a pair of five-star centers, in Lively and Kyle Filipowski, to go with five-star small forward Dariq Whitehead, power forward Mark Mitchell and shooting guard Jaden Schutt.
Davis’ second class in Chapel Hill is slightly smaller, but includes two centers (Washington and Will Shaver), to go with point guard Seth Trimble and power forward Tyler Nickel.
There’s still a chance either program adds players from the NCAA’s transfer portal to fill out their roster, setting both teams up for instant success — no matter how many members of their current roster declare for the NBA Draft.