NCAA Basketball Pick: Boston College +4½ over North Carolina

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

North Carolina seems vulnerable as a road favorite following a loss to rival NC State, as Boston College actually ranks ahead of the Tar Heels in offensive efficiency in ACC games.

There could be a possible upset in the ACC on Tuesday night when the favored North Carolina Tar Heels (13-6, 3-4 away) pay a visit to the young Boston College Eagles (9-10, 7-4 home) at the Silvio O. Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, MA at 9:00 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPNU.

The point spread at Bookmaker Sportsbook has Boston College as a home underdog for this contest with the current line at +4½ with odds of -110.

North Carolina is coming off of a 91-82 shootout loss to rival NC State on Saturday, snapping a 13-game winning streak for the Tar Heels in that head-to-head series and the Heels now find themselves in another treacherous spot as road favorites vs. an improved team.

Boston College may be one game under .500 at 9-10, but that already matches the win total of the 9-22 team of last season that started four freshmen and had another one as the sixth man after losing its entire starting lineup from the previous season. Those players are a year older and a year wiser now and the improvement has been obvious.

Granted the Eagles have lost four straight games since there only ACC win (1-5), but they continue to play hard as four of those five conference losses have been by five points or less! Boston College is now 8-5-1 ATS this season in all lined games including 7-3-1 ATS in tonight’s underdog role.

What is most interesting about this contest is where these two teams rank in offensive efficiency. North Carolina is ranked 60th in efficiency overall, as the Heels are held down a bit by ranking 150th in effective field goal percentage at 48.8 percent.  Believe it or not, Boston College is not far behind in efficiency at 76th, and the Eagles have a better effective field goal percentage of 50.1 percent (107th).

Furthermore, when looking at conference games only, Boston College actually ranks higher in efficiency, ranking fourth in ACC play compared to seventh for the Tar Heels!

While the 91 points the Tar Heels allowed to the Wolfpack was a season high and came against a great offense, North Carolina also allowed 85 points to a Texas team that cannot hit water from a boat, so the Heels are not without defensive issues, which is something Boston College can exploit.

Perhaps the biggest weakness for Carolina is three-point defense, where it ranks 228th in the nation, and it is facing a Boston College offense that shoots three-pointers 41.5 percent of the time and gets 32.4 percent of its points off of them, which is the 57th highest such percentage in he country.

Thus, look for the Eagles to score enough points to stay close again, just as they have in most games this season, with an outright upset not beyond the realm of possibility on Tuesday.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Boston College +4½ (-110)

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