NCAA Tournament Picks: Strong Offense Will Help North Carolina Cover ATS vs. Indiana

Charles Stark

Friday, March 25, 2016 11:31 AM UTC

Friday, Mar. 25, 2016 11:31 AM UTC

This looks to be an exciting up tempo game between two of the better scoring teams in the country and the NCAA basketball odds have come out making North Carolina a strong favorite.

NCAA basketball odds right now have UNC a -5.5 favorite like at Bookmaker -105.  Although it might be tempting to take the Hoosiers and their tremendous shooting statistics for one of my NCAA basketball picks I like the Tar Heels to win this game by double digits.


Indiana Hoosiers
Indiana comes in averaging 82.5 points per game which ranks 10th in the country and rank first in overall shooting percentage.  This has been a great year for them and Tom Crean has done a good job emphasizing an improved defense.  However, I don’t believe they have faced a team as offensively efficient as the Tar Heels all season which leads me to believe they will struggle to get stops.  As for their own offense they have been among the elite teams in the country this season ranking first in effective field goal percentage, second in shooting efficiency, and fifth in two and three point shooting percentage.

However, despite their strides defensively they still rank in the bottom half of the country in opponent overall shooting percentage, opponent two point shooting percentage, opponent field goals attempted per game.  These poor statistics play right into the strength of the Tar Heels.  Indiana has been good in getting after the boards allowing only 30.1 opponent rebounds per game, but UNC is one of the best rebounding teams in the country and I anticipate the Tar Heels to win this battle as well.


North Carolina Tar Heels
The Tar Heels won both the ACC regular season and tournament titles and average 82.4 points per game which ranks 11th in the country.  They also rank fifth and third in field goals attempted and made respectively.  Up down statistically on the offensive side this Tar Heel team is extremely good and I anticipate them to be in the final four.  The only thing they do not do particularly well is shoot the three averaging 31.4% from distance, but they only attempt around 17 per game which ranks in the bottom part of all NCAA Tournament teams.  Defensively they will have their hands full against Indiana but I like how they match up with them despite the tempo. 

The ACC was loaded this year as usual but still the Tar Heels came out of it with some decent defensive statistics allowing opponents to shoot just 41% overall and more impressively 44.1% on opponents two point shooting.  As far as overall scoring and points allowed these teams are just about dead even including average scoring margin.  I believe the odds makers have this game pegged correctly though and match up wise UNC is simply the better team from a tougher conference.

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NCAA Basketball Free Pick: North Carolina -5.5.
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle



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