NCAB Saturday February 26th #6 Virginia at North Carolina Betting Matchup
Oddsmakers Still Like the Tar Heels Against Top 10 Team
The Cavaliers’ 63-48 defeat at Boston College on Wednesday as -9.5 favorites has oddsmakers a little leery heading into the Virginia at North Carolina betting matchup. Despite UVA still being #6 in the country (for now), the Tar Heels are -2.5 favorites at home for Saturday night’s matchup.
North Carolina is a tough team to back in this spot considering they’ve lost five of their last seven overall. UNC is 11-2 at home though while Virginia is just 6-4 on the road and the Tar Heels won last year’s meeting in Chapel Hill 74-58 as -5 point favorites. Public bettors still like Virginia getting the points to the tune of 65% of wagers being on the visitors.
Why Virginia Can Cover +2.5 Points
The Cavaliers (21-5) are the #6 team in the country for a reason, and their 63-48 loss at Boston College this week was clearly a once off and it shows UVA was looking ahead to face North Carolina. UVA had won 11 of their previous 12, including topping North Carolina 65-58 on January 10th as -4.5 point favorites.
UVA has found their success this year via their patented lockdown defense that leads the ACC with just 60.2 ppg allowed. The Cavaliers had held four straight opponents to under 60 points in regulation prior to the loss at Boston College this week and they limited North Carolina to their second lowest output of the season in the first meeting.
UVA doesn’t score a ton and likes to slow down the pace a lot, but there is some big game potential from the likes of Armaan Franklin who had 23 points in a recent win over Duke and went for 25 earlier in the year against Wake Forest. Jayden Gardner and Kihei Clark can also give you 15+ on any given night, especially against a Tar Heels squad that is 13th in the conference in points allowed (72.1).
Why North Carolina Can Cover -2.5 Points
Virginia puts up some great numbers on paper including their 60.2 ppg allowed which is 11th fewest in the country. Some of that success has to do with style of play though as the Cavaliers run the 5th slowest pace in the entire country, and if you look at adjusted efficiency UVA is just 28th according to KenPom.
North Carolina has dropped five of their last seven, but they’re still a decent 11-2 at home on the year. Unfortunately those two defeats have come over the course of their last three games so this is a spot of where you really have to look at the bigger picture.
The Tar Heels did lose 65-58 at Virginia earlier this season, but that was a game in which leading scorer and rebounder Armando Bacot (17.3/11.1) was lost less than two minutes into the game after turning his ankle. Bacot has returned with a double-double in six of seven games this month.
Free Virginia at North Carolina Betting Pick
The Cavaliers are the #6 team in the country but their adjusted efficiency ratings on both ends of the court point to the fact that this team might be a bit overrated. UNC has had a couple of rough outings at home recently, but they seem like the play in this spot.
Free Pick: North Carolina -2.5