The NC State Wolfpack make the short trip to the Dean Smith Center to face the UNC Tar Heels in an ACC battle. With three of the conferences top rebounders squaring off, see why I am adding the 'under' to my NCAA basketball picks tonight.

The No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels have a 4-2 spread record in their last six home games, with the ‘under’ also cashing at 4-2. Roy Williams’ squad returns to Chapel Hill after two straight road contests for Thursday’s matchup against the North Carolina State Wolfpack, who are 3-0 ATS in opposing gyms. 

Sportsbooks opened North Carolina as a 13 ½-point favorite, while first setting the ‘total’ at 159. NCAA Basketball odds makers offered a money-line price of plus 750 for North Carolina State, who come into Dean Smith Center with a three-game winning streak. 

Tar Heels pull away from Va Tech 

Harrison BarnesThe North Carolina Tar Heels have been off for a week since last Thursday’s 82-68 victory as a six-point road favorite against the Virginia Tech Hokies. The Tar Heels outscored Virginia Tech, 48-29, in the second half, holding the Hokies to 36.8 percent field shooting. 

Tar Heels mates John Henson and Tyler Zeller both logged a double-double, uniting for 30 points and 27 rebounds. Henson added six blocks, while UNC’s Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall finished with team-highs of 27 points and eight assists, respectively. 

The contest’s combined 150 points leaped above the ‘total’ of 145 ½, lifting the ‘over’ to 5-4 in the Tar Heels’ last nine games. North Carolina outrebounded the Hokies, 47-25, while sinking 18-of-21 free throws.

Wolfpack hold off Hurricanes 

North Carolina State’s latest win came in Sunday’s 78-73 triumph as a three-point road dog against the Miami Hurricanes. The Wolfpack drained 6-of-10 shots from three-point land, while holding Miami to a 2-for-20 day beyond the arc. 

Wolfpack forward Scott Wood notched a season-high 21 points, with a third of them from hitting 7-of-7 free throws. Wood’s mates C.J. Leslie and DeShawn Painter logged seven rebounds each, while uniting for 29 points and three of their squad’s four blocks. 

The battle’s combined 151 points jumped above the ‘total’ of 145 ½, bringing the ‘over’ to 3-2 in N.C. State’s last five games. Wolfpack guard Lorenzo Brown notched a team-high six assists, while he and his mates connected at 46.2 percent from the field. 

Back the ‘under’ at the “Dean Dome” 

Thursday’s tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET), with ESPN providing the national television coverage.

I am adding the ‘under’ to my NCAA Basketball picks tonight, looking for a tight battle between these Atlantic Coast Conference rivals. The ‘under’ is 3-1 in the foes’ last four meetings, including last February’s 75-63 win for North Carolina having its 138 combined points dip below the ‘total’ of 146.

NC StateThe ACC’s top three rebounders will square off here with UNC’s Henson (10.1 RPG) and Zeller (9.3 RPG) facing Wolfpack forward Richard Howell (9.4 RPG). Second-chance points should be at a premium on both ends of the floor thanks to this trio, with Henson looking to top his combined 31 rebounds in last season’s pair of matchups against N.C. State. 

Henson also leads the conference in blocks (3.2 BPG), while N.C. State’s Leslie is not far behind with a fifth-best 1.9 BPG. Leslie’s mate Brown is atop the ACC for steals (2 SPG), with 2.5 SPG logged against the Tar Heels in last year’s two battles. 

The Wolfpack have given up a stingy 58.3 PPG in their last three contests, heading into this rivalry matchup holding their own against conference foes. North Carolina has allowed 58 PPG in its two home dates against ACC opponents, notching lopsided wins against Miami and Boston College. 

The ‘under’ is 7-3 in UNC’s last 10 ‘board’ home games, with another ‘under’ ticket looming to cash here. Look for Henson and Co. to keep the Wolfpack off the scoreboard, while N.C. State has its chances to limit the Tar Heels from connecting buckets.

My Pick: Under