Miami vs. North Carolina: NCAA Basketball Picks

Jeff Grant

Thursday, January 10, 2013 12:34 PM GMT

The North Carolina Tar Heels have won 10 games in a row against the Miami Hurricanes heading into Thursday night’s matchup at the Smith Center, but that streak may be in jeopardy.


Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA basketball betting odds for this ACC affair in Chapel Hill.

Back on track

Flying to the Hawaiian Islands can take a lot out of a team, especially if you’re coming over from the East Coast, which is likely why the Miami Hurricanes dropped both their games in the Diamond Head Classic over the Christmas break.  The program has gotten back on track with back-to-back wins, including an impressive 62-49 victory over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets as 1.5-point road favorites Saturday.  Miami has compiled a solid 8-2 against-the-spread (ATS) record this season, with each of those games coming against winning teams.

Shut down

North Carolina had its two-game win streak snapped in a 61-52 setback to the Virginia Cavaliers as three-point road underdogs Sunday, while going UNDER the total for a second consecutive time.  The Tar Heels’ 52 points ere their fourth-fewest in a game in the Roy Williams era, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college basketball betting odds page.  The squad is 1-5 ATS when facing an opponent that allows 64 points or less per game.

Great Scott 

Durand Scott is the key player to watch in this ACC affair, as he’s managed to score at least 15 points in 11 of 13 games this season, while occupying the 14th spot on Miami’s career list with 1,364 points.  He is averaging 14.7 points per game on the year, which has been made possible by shooting 49.5 percent from the floor.  Scott scored a team-high 15 points in last year’s 73-64 setback to North Carolina as five-point home underdogs on Feb. 15.

Beyond the arc

The Tar Heels are averaging 79.0 points per game this season, but they’ve become too reliant on the 3-point shot, averaging 20.3 attempts from beyond the arc through 14 games.  Williams has never had a roster attempt more shots from that area at this stage of the season during his time in Chapel Hill, which could lead to some major problems when facing a team that limits its opponents to 30.8 percent shooting from the 3-point area.

[gameodds]14/211688/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Hurricanes as one of their NCAA sports picks, as they’ve gone 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games, while the Tar Heels are just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 tries versus a team with a winning record.

College Basketball Picks:  Miami Hurricanes +5 at BetOnline