North Carolina a Conference ‘Road-Dog Play at Virginia':NCAAB Picks

Willie Bee

Saturday, January 6, 2018 12:51 PM UTC

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 12:51 PM UTC

A slump on the offensive end the past month has cost North Carolina some of its sheen, and the Tar Heels are underdogs on the NCAA basketball odds yet again at Virginia.

NCAAB Picks: North Carolina +5, Under 137
Best Betting Lines are (-105) at 5Dimes

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The defending national champs are in trouble, at least according to the doomsayers otherwise known as the pot-stirring members of the media. North Carolina dropped its second game in four tries earlier this week at Florida State, and the Tar Heels have fallen out of favor with the pundits who can no longer gush over Roy Williams’ outfit.

They’re underdogs again coming out of that loss when they travel to meet the Virginia Cavaliers in a 1 PM (ET) start time at John Paul Jones Arena, and let me safe y’all a lot of time waiting for the free college basketball pick – I’m not falling for the baloney everyone’s trying to sell and will be taking North Carolina plus the points. The only real mystery is whether or not I might also play the total, currently in the 136½-137½ range.

Cavs Beginning 3-Game Homestand
The Tar Heels fell a point shy to the Seminoles, trailing most of the game in Tallahassee and going completely flat for nearly two minutes near the end that did them in. North Carolina only committed seven turnovers and came away with eight steals, but was doubled-up at the charity stripe by a 14-7 margin. Finding the net has been an issue for about a month now, UNC shooting 41% (133-324) its last five games after hitting on a 49.5% clip the first 10.

Tony Bennett’s team still just has the one loss at rival West Virginia, which doesn’t look bad at all considering the Mountaineers are ranked 6/5 in the conventional polls. Still, that remains Virginia’s only matchup against a ranked team. The Cavaliers did not play so well in their conference opener against Boston College, eking out a 59-58 win as 15½ point favorites on the NCAA basketball odds, but bounced back nicely with a 26-point romp at Virginia Tech on Wednesday, and now have the luxury of being home for the next three ACC games.

Rivalry Notes, Final Thoughts & The Aforementioned Free Pick(s)
North Carolina, as one would expect, holds a dominant edge in the series, 131-54, but Virginia has ruled regular-season matchups of late by winning five of the last seven. What really hurt the Cavs is dropping consecutive tournament games to UNC in that span (2015-16), and the last seven ACC tournament clashes with the Heels. The schools traded home wins and covers last season, the ’under’ on a 3-game run following a 5-game string of ‘over’ winners.

Heritage and 5Dimes have the number +5 for the Heels and splits the upper and lower ends of the total at 137. Let’s add an ‘under’ play to follow the series trend and Virginia’s 0-2 O/U start to the conference schedule.

Season: 18-24-1 (-7.20)

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