Pittsburgh vs. North Carolina: NCAA Basketball Picks

Jeff Grant

Friday, March 14, 2014 11:38 AM GMT

Friday, Mar. 14, 2014 11:38 AM GMT

Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA basketball odds for this high-profile matchup at the Greensboro Coliseum, with the opening tip scheduled for 2:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2. We look at this matchup and decide if there is any NCAA Basketball betting value on offer this afternoon.

The North Carolina Tar Heels have won the ACC Tournament 17 times, but they’ll have a hard time getting past the quarterfinal round against the Pittsburgh Panthers Friday.

Impressive opener

Pittsburgh picked up its first-ever win in ACC Tournament play in capturing a 84-55 blowout victory over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons as nine-point favorites Thursday, while going OVER the betting total for a fourth consecutive contest. 

The Panthers are led on the offensive end by senior forward LaMar Patterson, who score 24 points—marking his 13th 20-point performance of his career. 

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 7-5 SU and 5-7 ATS when playing on a neutral floor.

Looking to get back on track 

North Carolina had its season-high 12-game winning streak snapped in its final regular season game of the the 2013-14 campaign, as it dropped a 93-81 decision to the Duke Blue Devils as 9.5-point road underdogs last Saturday. 

The Tar Heels have averaged 78 points over their last 13 contests—a big improvement in comparison to scoring 56.3 points per game versus their first three league opponents. 

College basketball handicappers will find that the team is 13-6 SU and 8-11 ATS in March since the 2011-12 campaign. 

Revenge

The Panthers are definitely dangerous underdogs on the SBR Odds page, considering they’ll be motivated to avenge a 75-71 setback to the Tar Heels as three-point road underdogs on Feb. 15. 

Pittsburgh entered that game in a terrible scheduling spot, as it was coming off a two-point loss to its biggest rival (Syracuse) in the conference—a game that was preceded by two overtime affairs.

A definite advantage 

The Tar Heels have compiled a dominating 111-28 SU record in this building, including a 36-16 mark when playing in this event. 

North Carolina’s 17 ACC Tournament victories is second in the league behind only Duke’s 19.

[gameodds]14/261726/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Panthers as one of their NCAA basketball picks, as the Tar Heels have gone 1-10-2 ATS in their last 13 conference tournament games when taking on a foe that’s seeded five or higher.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Pittsburgh Panthers +1.5

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