NCAA Basketball Picks: Take Davidson +13.5 vs. North Carolina

Jake Walker

Sunday, December 6, 2015 1:04 AM UTC

Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015 1:04 AM UTC

The Davidson Wildcats (5-0) travel to Chapel Hill to take on the No. 9 North Carolina Tar Heels (6-1). Who should we back with our NCAA Basketball picks in this exciting matchup?

Davidson Wildcats
Davidson is off to a 5-0 start but they haven't faced any tough opponents yet and they're 13.5-point road underdogs against North Carolina. The Wildcats average 89.5 points per game and they shoot 45.7 percent from the field. Defensively they allow just 77.8 points and their opponents shoot 41.7 percent. Jack Gibbs leads the team with 26.0 points per game and he is shooting 55.4 percent from the field while Peyton Aldridge adds 18.0 points and 5.6 rebounds.


North Carolina Tar Heels
North Carolina is 6-1 this season after winning their last three games. The Tar Heels score 82.4 points per game and they're shooting 49.0 percent while their defense allows 68.7 points and lets their opponents shoot 41.3 percent. Star guard Marcus Paige made his season debut in last Tuesday's 89-81 win against No. 2 Maryland and he scored 20 points and dished out 5 assists. Paige had missed the first six games of the season with a broken hand.

Kennedy Meeks carried North Carolina in Paige's absence, averaging 14.0 points and 7.3 rebounds while Justin Jackson averages 13.9 points.


Matchup to Watch
The key to this game will be the intriguing backcourt matchup of Marcus Paige against Jack Gibbs, who has emerged as one of the top players in the country. Gibbs scored 41 points in last Tuesday's 109-74 blowout against Charlotte, shooting 14-for-17 from the field and 6-for-7 from 3-point range after back-to-back games in which he scored 28 points on 10-for-25 (4-for-16 from beyond the arc) combined. 

Paige on the other hand was a welcome addition to the North Carolina lineup, as the Tar Heels totaled 22 assists against Maryland, with Paige distributing the ball. The senior guard gives UNC five players who average double figures.

North Carolina won last season's meeting 90-72 on November 22, 2014 behind 19 points and 12 rebounds from Kennedy Meeks. Jack Gibbs only had seven points on 2-for-10 shooting. 


Betting Trends
Davidson is 21-5 ATS in their last 26 road games, 2-5 ATS against ACC opponents and 0-5 ATS against a team with a winning record.

North Carolina is 5-2 ATS against the A-10 opponents, 1-3-1 ATS in their last five non-conference games and 2-6 ATS in their last eight home games against a team with a winning road record.   


Final Analysis
North Carolina is a very different team with Marcus Paige in the lineup but +13.5 on the NCAA Basketball odds board is too much, even if Davidson's schedule has been soft. I have to follow the betting value and take Davidson and the points with my NCAA Basketball picks as Jack Gibbs and Peyton Aldridge will help the Wildcats stay in the game. 

NCAA Basketball Picks: Take Davidson +13.5 at 5Dimes

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