Best ACC Rivalry Picks: Bet UNC & NC State To Stay 'Over' 156.5

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 3:06 PM GMT

Cat Barber and North Carolina State welcome intrastate rival North Carolina to the PNC Arena in Raleigh on Wednesday night in a huge game for the Wolfpack. Who will be our NCAA basketball pick?

Odds Overview
#7 North Carolina vs. North Carolina State this familiar ACC showdown sees North Carolina State (14-13, 4-10 in ACC) head down Tobacco Road to Raleigh and PNC Arena to face fierce rival and #7 North Carolina (22-5, 11-3 ACC) in a big Atlantic Coast Conference tilt on Wednesday night. NCAA Basketball odds makers have opened up visitors North Carolina as 7-point favorites (The Greek) here with the Total (Points) here set at 156½ (Bookmaker). The Money Line (Winner) odds in this game sees host North Carolina as -320 Favorites with Road Underdog North Carolina State lined at +260 (The Greek) on the takeback as Home underdogs.

 

North Carolina Tar Heels
North Carolina (11-15-1 ATS, 2-6 ATS on Road) got off to an incredible start and has already beaten a bunch of solid schools so far this season including Syracuse, Florida State, Clemson, (then) #22 UCLA, Georgia Tech, Texas, (then) #2 Maryland and Northern Iowa. When these two teams met earlier this season in Chapel Hill, Brice Johnson and perennial College Hoops powerhouse North Carolina (10/1 to win National Championship, 10Red) defeated North Carolina State, 67-55 (NC -15½, 167½, Under) as F Kennedy Meeks had 23 points and the Tar Heels got off to their best conference start in 15 years. Here, the Tar Heels (83.9 AF-70.4 AA) and Head Coach Roy Williams will need F Brice Johnson (16.9 ppg, 10.6 rpg), F Justin Jackson, F Isaiah Hicks, G Marcus Paige, G Joel Berry II (3.9 apg), Meeks (1.4 bpg) and others to keep playing the way they have been of late to avoid getting beat by their rivals. The 7th-ranked Tar Heels (#6 in Ken Pomeroy College Basketball Rankings, .9266 Pyth) have no Injuries to report heading in here.

 

North Carolina State Wolfpack
North Carolina State (10-6 SU at Home, 6-7 ATS at Home) has L5 of its L8 games but Head Coach Mark Gottfried and the Wolfpack (750/1 odds to win National Championship, Ladbrokes) won their last game, topping Clemson, 77-74 at Home in Raleigh as G Maverick Rowan scored 26 points, F Abdul-Malik Abu added 17 points and G Caleb Martin provided 16 points off the Wolfpack Bench. G Anthony “Cat” Barber continued his not-hot shooting for North Carolina State, going 1-for-12 from the Field and 0-for-3 from 3-Point range, finishing with 8 points, 6 of them on FTs. One good thing going in for the Wolfpack (2-4 vs. AP Top 25) here is that they have W4 straight ATS in this rivalry series, all but one time (Jan. 26, 2013) in those L10 assuming the role as the Underdog. North Carolina State (75.4 AF-73.2 AA) G Terry Henderson (ankle) is Out Indefinitely and is the only Injury concern in this game. The Point Spread cover here may all come down to whether or not the enigmatic Barber is hitting from the Field for game host North Carolina State (#65 in Ken Pomeroy College Basketball Rankings, .7557 Pythagorean Winning Percentage).

 

Series Trends over Last 10 Meetings, Other Trends and Best Betting Approach
The L10 meetings in this series show North Carolina State holding a 6-4 ATS edge on the power of those aforementioned 4 consecutive Point Spread covers in this series, all as Underdogs (+15½, +9½, +4½ and +4). And getting what looks like around 7 (Heritage, The Greek), the Trend, Value or Underdog players should shop around for an 8 or more as there should eventually be a fair amount of North Carolina money on this game from the public, initially driving the spread up ½ or 1 point. The Total is split 5-5 ATS (O/U) in the L10 in the series and the last meeting—on Jan. 16 down the road in Chapel Hill—the Total went well under (122 points) the 157½ closing number at most sportsbooks. Expect the Wolfpack to try to slow it down with the high-scoring Tar Heels whose 83.9 ppg is the 8th-highest (Offense) in the nation and who play at their best when on the fly but leave much to be desired from long-range, ranking 305th in the nation on 3’s.
Trend-wise, the Favorite is an impressive 12-6 ATS the L18 in this series but the Over is the hesitant pick here as the Over has been hitting around a dominating 66% in the Tar Heels L60 games, the Over is 7-1 in the L8 North Carolina State games overall and the Over is also 7-1 in the Wolfpack’s L8 games against the ACC Conference. Sidewise, North Carolina State is 16-4-1 ATS (80%) in its L21 games played on a Wednesday, but a Trend like that always seems so random whereas a Trend like NC State having W4 straight ATS against North Carolina seems to hold water because any perceived randomness is dissolved by the fact these two play each other on each other’s home-courts year-in and year-out. Like hardwood clockwork. North Carolina (15-12 O/U) and North Carolina State (14-10 O/U) have both trended to the Over this season and this one should be considerably more high-scoring than the last affair down Tobacco Road last month which only had 122 points scored in it, and it’s interesting to note that the L4 meetings played here on this court (PNC Arena in Raleigh) have seen the posed Total go Over with 160, 169 (Overtime), 174 and 160 total points being scored. And the Over is 9-4 is Wolfpack Home games this season. Another frenetic, 160-point game seems in order right about now.

 

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Final Score Prediction: North Carolina 85  North Carolina State 75
NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 156½ 
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker