NCAA Basketball Picks: Back 'Over' In North Carolina vs. Louisville Up-Tempo Affair

Charles Stark

Monday, February 1, 2016 12:16 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 1, 2016 12:16 PM UTC

In the three times they met last season, North Carolina and Louisville score for 143,120 (regulation), and 130 pts. Will we see the same tempo tonight for one of our NCAA basketball picks?

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 148½
Best Line Offered: at The Greek


NCAA Basketball Odds Overview
NCAA basketball odds boards have come out with the total on this game at 148.5 at Bookmaker -110. This total is really high, but I believe for good reason. This game should have a much different tempo than Louisville's last game against Virginia, so for one of my NCAA basketball picks for the day, I will back over the total tonight.


North Carolina Tar Heels
North Carolina's averaging 85.7 points per game while shooting 48.2% from the field, and allowing 70.7 points per game on 44.6% shooting from the field. On the season, they are 14-7 on their over under totals overall, and 6-3 on the road. This team is absolutely loaded and head coach Roy Williams looks like he has another possible title contender come March. Offensively, they really push the tempo averaging 65.8 field goal attempts per game which ranks fifth in the country, making 31.7 of those which ranks second. They also rank of the better part of the country in overall shooting percentage, rebounds per game, and they rank sixth averaging 18.4 assists per game. The only thing they don't do particularly well is that they average of 30.6% from beyond the arc which ranks in the bottom part of NCAA basketball, and they only make 5.3 three-pointers per game. Nevertheless, their lack of shooting the deep ball has not prevented them from being a consistent scoring threat from the beginning to the end of games. On the defensive side, they are mostly subpar in their statistics and rely a lot on simply outscoring teams. The Tar Heels like for teams to go up tempo with them allowing opponents to put up 60.4 field goal attempts per game which ranks in the bottom part of the country. Interestingly enough you would think because they don't shoot the three well that they would at least defend from that area decently, but they don't. On the season, the Tar Heels allow opponents to shoot 37.2% from distance allowing opponents an average of 8.2 three-pointers made per game.


Louisville Cardinals
Louisville is averaging 81 points per game while shooting 49.1% from the field, and allowing 60 points per game on 36.9% shooting from the field. On the season, they are 8-8-1 on their over under totals overall, and 3-6-1 at home. Having put up their lowest total of the season so far, just 47 points against Virginia, I am looking for the Cardinals to bounce back in a big way against the up-tempo Tar Heels. Last year these teams did not combine for any really high totals in their three contests, so this line surprises me a bit, but I am on board with odds makers and believe this will be fast-paced. Offensively, Louisville ranks 26 in the country in scoring, and sixth averaging 29.9 field goals made per game. Their overall shooting percentage is one of the best in the country, and they can also shoot from beyond the arc averaging 36.8% from distance. Defensively, they're one of the best statistically in the country, but North Carolina will be the best offensive team they have seen this season. On this side of the ball Louisville ranks third in opponent overall and two point shooting percentage, fourth in opponent effective field-goal percentage, and fifth in opponent shooting efficiency. Last season when North Carolina came to visit these teams went for just 120 points in regulation, and Louisville can really put the clamps down on teams at home. However, I am more inclined to believe that Rick Pitino will allow his players to get out and run and put up some points as opposed to getting bogged down in a grind out game like they did against Virginia.

The line on this is still really surprising to me, but I recommend for one of your NCAA basketball picks to back over the total between Louisville and North Carolina. The pace should be up tempo from the first tip and both of these squads have capability to put up a lot points in a hurry.  Should be a fun one to watch.

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