Tar Heels & Wildcats to Play Under The Huge Total

Malik Monk Of Kentucky

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, December 17, 2016 4:42 PM GMT

SBR contributor Ross Benjamin shares an interesting perspective on Saturday’s premier college basketball game between North Carolina and Kentucky. You won’t want to miss his analysis on this contest.

Saturday 12/17 College Basketball Predictions: North Carolina vs. Kentucky

A couple of iconic college basketball programs will collide on Saturday when #7 North Carolina takes on #6 Kentucky. The scheduled opening tip at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada is slated for 5:45 PM ET, and it will be televised by CBS. These teams last met on 12/132014 at Rupp Arena in Lexington, and Kentucky came away with an 84-70 win.

The current college basketball odds at Bookmaker indicates that this is a pick game, and there’s a posted total of 162.5. By the way, Bookmaker is presently offering new customers 50% cash bonuses on all initial deposits of up to $300.

 Explosive Offensively and Stout Defensively

Each of these teams has put up some gaudy offensive numbers to this point. Nevertheless, what seems to get overlooked is how well both teams have played defensively.

North Carolina is averaging 88.0 points scored per game and has shot a very good 48.4% from the field. The Tar Heels have surpassed the century mark twice this season. The flip side of that equation is their defensive play. North Carolina has held their first 11 opponents to a cumulative 38.8% shooting and allowed them just 66.4 points per game.

Kentucky averages a robust 94.4 points per contest and has converted on a stellar 48.5% of its field goal attempts. As a matter of fact, Kentucky has scored 101 points or more during 3 of their first 10 games. Conversely, Kentucky is allowing their opponents to shoot 38.4%, convert on a paltry 26.8% of their 3-point attempts, and held them to 68.8 points scored per contest. Considering the phonetic pace that Kentucky likes to play at, those defensive numbers are much better than they may indicate.

 

College Basketball Super Betting Angle

North Carolina has won 3 straight games since sustaining its only loss of the season against Indiana, and they own a 10-1 (.909) record. Kentucky enters today with a 9-1 (.900) record this season.

Any neutral court team (North Carolina) with a total of 160.0 or more, coming off 3 or more wins in a row, and they possess a win percentage of .800 or better, versus an opponent (Kentucky) with a win percentage of .800 or better, resulted in those games going 36-11 (76.6%) under the total since 1997. The average total in those 47 games was 164.9, and there were a combined 155.5 points scored per contest.

 

Final Take and Pick

Both teams have put up extremely impressive offensive numbers thus far. However, as I alluded to earlier, each team’s defensive play has been vastly underrated. Relative to the current total, I like this game to be a lower scoring affair, and one of my Saturday college basketball predictions will be indicative of such.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 162.5Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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