NCAA Basketball Picks Underdog North Carolina +11 vs. Kentucky

Steven Suarez

Friday, December 12, 2014 7:00 PM GMT

Though they're looking unstoppable, the Wildcats may be a little overvalued for this visit of the Tar Heels. Who should we side with when placing our NCAA basketball picks?

Odds Overview
We'll have to wait a little longer before college basketball oddsmakers release a total, but we do have the pleasure of having a spread available for dissection.

The Wildcats have still yet to be beaten and they'll be heavy favorites at home against the Tar Heels on Saturday. Kentucky is laying 11 points on the NCAA basketball odds. Are you willing to take on that kind of chalk?

 

Kentucky Wildcats
The platoon system is working wonders for John Calipari. It's almost unfair that he has this much talent at his disposal, but the sytem he's employed to get the most out of it hasn't hit a snag as of yet.

Though the Wildcats obviously have plenty of guys who can put the ball in the hoop, it's their length and intensity on the defensive end of the court that's really made them stand out. In fact, no team has been better defensively, with the Kentucky Wildcats allowing just 45.8 points per contest thus far. To put that into perspective, Virginia is the only other team in the entire country that's surrendering less than 50 points a game on average.

It was more of the same on Wednesday in the team's 56-46 win over Columbia. Despite struggling mightily themselves offensively, the Wildcats clamped down defensively to spur them on to the win. Individually, Willie Cauley-Stein had 10 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes of action to lead the way.

Unfortunately for Kentucky, they were hit with the terrible news of an injury to Alex Poythress, who tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season. Poythress was a big piece to the puzzle, so he's not going to be all that easy to replace.

 

North Carolina Tar Heels
The Tar Heels come into Saturday with a 6-2 record, with their two losses coming to two unranked teams in Butler and Iowa. 

Following that loss to the Hawkeyes, UNC took out their frustrations on poor ECU in a dominant 108-64 win. The Tar Heels shot a ridiculous 60.0 percent from the field, and as you can tell by the score, were dominant in every possible facet.

Brice Johnson was a monster, scoring 19 points and grabbing 17 rebounds, and J.P. Tokoto also scored 19 points. Kennedy Meeks did a little of everything, totaling 12 points, 11 boards, three steals and two blocks. Meeks has been the team's most efficient player, making the most of his 23 minutes per game on average.

Whereas Kentucky has been second-to-none defensively, the Tar Heels have inflicted their damage by simply scoring at will. They're averaging 81.4 points per game (#19 in the country), yet they've had even more of a presence on the glass -- they're hauiling in 45.1 boards per game, which ranks them third in the nation. Can they control the boards against the Wildcats?

 

NCAA Basketball Pick
Listen, we're well aware of how good Kentucky is. We've watched them play numerous times, and it's hard to ignore their play. With NBA-level talent and size, opponents are simply getting overwhelmed.

Only a handful of teams out there will be able to contend with the Wildcats, and we believe UNC is one of them. The Tar Heels have been battle tested already this season and have already picked up two wins over ranked opponents (UCLA and Florida). Yes, they've dropped a couple games they shouldn't have, but this is a very talented team we're talking about, and Roy Williams knows how to coach.

Here on Saturday afternoon, we don't expect a total one-sided affair. In looking for a battle from UNC, we'll be taking the points and recommending that readers add the road team to their NCAA basketball picks.

NCAA Basketball Pick: North Carolina Tar Heels +11 at BetOnline

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