NCAA Basketball Picks: Texas vs. North Carolina

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 12:37 PM GMT

Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 12:37 PM GMT

The North Carolina Tar Heels continue to play one of the more challenging non-conference schedules in the country, as they prepare to host the Texas Longhorns Wednesday night.

Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA basketball lines for this high-profile affair at the Smith Center, with the opening tip scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

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A balanced roster

Texas has won nine of its first 10 games to start the 2013-14 campaign, with all 10 scholarship players scoring in double figures in at least one contest.  

Longhorns junior forward Jonathan Holmes leads the way in averaging 12.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 0-5 SU and 3-2 ATS as road underdogs of 9.5 to 12 points, with the UNDER going 3-2 in that situation.

Playing good basketball

North Carolina has won and covered the number in its last three affairs, including an 82-77 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats as three-point home favorites last Saturday, while going OVER the betting total for the first time in four opportunities.

The Tar Heels have played a very challenging schedule to this point, which includes wins over the Louisville Cardinals and Michigan State Spartans.

Series lead

College basketball handicappers will need to take a long look at the Longhorns as a road underdog in this affair, considering they own a 5-3 advantage in this series that dates back to the 1992-93 campaign.

Longhorns head coach Rick Barnes has also split 10 meetings against Roy Williams since arriving in Austin—after ending up on the losing of that matchup during his time at Clemson.

Revenge

The Tar Heels would normally be ripe for a letdown after picking up a win over the Wildcats, but Williams should have his entire roster ready to go, as they attempt to gain revenge from a 85-67 defeat to the Longhorns as 4.5-point road favorites last year. 

North Carolina shot just 31.3 percent from the floor, while missing 16 of 19 attempts from the three-point area.

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Tar Heels for their college basketball picks, as they’ve gone 5-0 SUATS as home favorites of 9.5 to 12 points the last two-plus seasons.

College Basketball Pick: North Carolina Tar Heels -10.5

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