Ride the Wave, Take Tulane Plus Odds as the NCAA Basketball Pick Against NC

Darin Zank

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 2:23 PM GMT

Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015 2:23 PM GMT

It's a mismatch on paper, but the 23 points on the NCAA basketball odds will keep Wednesday night's North Carolina vs. Tulane game interesting. Check our free pick inside.
 

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Tulane +25
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

Betting Odds
Wednesday's NCAA basketball odds market opened this game with North Carolina favored by 23 points, the total offered at 147.5; both those figures were holding steady in the early betting.

 

The Match-Up
Tulane (6-4 SU, 2-2 ATS) only returned two starters this season from a team that went 15-16 last year. The Wave brought in some nice talent, but they're very young. Our guess is Tulane will finish somewhere in the lower division of the AAC this season, although fifth place isn't out of the question.

The Wave started 2-3 this season, splitting a pair of overtime games. They then won three in a row, before losing to Georgia Tech 11 days ago 76-68, missing ATS as six-point home dogs. Last time out Tulane rediscovered the winning track, beating Prairie View A&M Monday night 63-49.

The Wave only led the Panthers by four points with about seven minutes to go, but finished the game on a 21-11 run. On the night Tulane only shot 44 percent from the floor, but held A&M to just 29 percent shooting.

Just before that the Wave only trailed the Yellowjackets by three points with three minutes to go, but couldn't quite hang on for the cover as six-point home dogs.

North Carolina (7-2 SU, 4-4-1 ATS) returned almost its entire roster this season from a team that went 26-12 last year. The Heels are the early favorites to win the ACC this season, and as of early this week ranked as the second choice on the board at 5Dimes to win the NCAA championship at +1000.

Carolina just had a four-game winning streak snapped by an 84-82 loss at Texas last Saturday. That game was tied in the final seconds, but a glancing rebound gave the Longhorns an open shot at the buzzer, and guard Javan Felix hit it.

On the night UNC shot 52 percent from the field, but got outrebounded 36-27, and gave up 14 offensive boards to Texas, the last of which proved very costly.

The Heels already own victories this season over Northwestern, Kansas State and Maryland.

 

By the Numbers
Tulane is shooting 44 percent from the floor this season, just 33 percent from 3-point range and 65 percent from the free-throw line. The Wave is also holding opponents to just 39 percent shooting, and outrebounding foes by five per game.

North Carolina is shooting almost 50 percent from the floor, 36 percent from 3-point land and 72 percent from the line. The Heels are also holding foes to 41 percent shooting, while winning the battle on the boards by about 11 per game.

 

Injury Update
North Carolina just got one starter back when leading scorer Marcus Paige returned from a hand injury, but now will play its next few games at least without Kennedy Meeks (12 PPG, seven RPG), who just suffered a knee injury.

 

Final Analysis
This is one of those games where the winner isn't really up for debate; it's just a matter of the final margin. However, the line on this game is undoubtedly inflated by at least a couple of buckets, because it's “North Carolina,” and it's being played in Chapel Hill. Plus, Tulane can play a little defense. We'll take the Wave and the points for our NCAA basketball pick in this spot.

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