NCAA Basketball Picks: Virginia Will Cover ATS vs. North Carolina

Charles Stark

Saturday, February 27, 2016 7:13 PM GMT

For Saturday we head to the ACC for today's NCAA Basketball pick when North Carolina visits Virginia. These two teams clash with different styles and oddsmakers have made Virginia a small home favorite.

NCAA Basketball Odds
Can North Carolina push enough pace to get the victory, or will Virginia's pack line defense put the clamps down on the Tar Heels? NCAA Basketball odds makers have made Virginia a -3.5 favorite like at Pinnacle -106. For my NCAA Basketball picks I will back the Cavaliers minus the points as I look for them to really control tempo in this game. They play great defense and should be able to slow down North Carolina's high octane offense.

 

North Carolina Tar Heels
North Carolina averages 83.8 points per game and ranks fifth and second in the country in field goals attempted and made respectively. Roy Williams has a really good basketball team and their tempo can really make other teams uncomfortable. However, I don't think they're going to be able to get up and down the floor against a Virginia team that plays great defense and will control the pace at home. Even with the new shot clock Virginia is one of the best teams in the country in limiting opponent field-goal attempts per game. On the defensive side North Carolina is decent statistically highlighted by allowing opponents to shoot just 44.1% on their two-point shots which ranks 33rd in the country. Their lack of strong defensive stats is mostly due to their tempo as they allow teams to get up and down the floor. I really believe though that Virginia will dictate tempo tonight and that's what will make things difficult on the Tar Heels.

 

Virginia Cavaliers
Virginia averages 70.7 points per game highlighted by shooting 49.3% from the field which ranks sixth in the country. This is a really efficient team that can score from the inside out and they rank in the better part of the country in most offensive efficiency statistics. As well, the Cavaliers shoot 40.1% from beyond the arc which ranks 11th in the country. Defensively they are one of the best in not only the ACC but the country. Virginia ranks fourth in both opponent field goals attempted and made per game which I think, as mentioned, will be the difference tonight. Because of their pack line defense they can really bother other teams on the offensive end as they don't allow penetration and contest every shot. As well, Virginia allows opponents just 28.2 rebounds per game which ranks first in the country. They are great at limiting ball movement and I expect them to win this game by over five points.

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NCAA Basketball Picks: Virginia -3
Best Line Offered: at Bovada