Tobacco Road Shootout Likely Between Heels & Wolfpack

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 4:16 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017 4:16 PM UTC

SBR contributor Ross Benjamin breaks down Wednesday’s heated ACC rivalry game between North Carolina and NC State. Go inside to read this insightful betting preview article that culminates with one of Ross’ NCAA basketball free picks.

No. 10 North Carolina At NC State

A couple of long-time ACC bitter rivals get together Wednesday when NC State hosts No. 10 North Carolina amid reports NC State is pondering firing Coach Mark Gottfried. This will be the second meeting of the season. UNC crushed NC State 107-56 in Chapel Hill back on Jan. 8. At the time of this writing, NCAA basketball betting odds had North Carolina as anywhere from a 10.0 to 10.5-point road favorite for the rematch. The posted total on this contest is 167.0 across the board.


Tar Heels & Wolfpack Home/Away Dichotomies

North Carolina is an uninspiring 5-4 in true road games this season, and failed to cover on 7 of those 9 occasions. Even more telling is North Carolina’s mediocre 3-3 record during ACC road contests, and that includes a dismal 1-5 ATS in those contests. NC State is a disappointing 2-4 SU & ATS in conference home games thus far. The Wolfpack are an even worse 0-3 SU & ATS in their last 3 ACC contests played in Raleigh. It’s worth noting that NC State went over the total in 5 of those 6 ACC home contests and there was a massive 172.3 points scored per game.


Expected Lightning Fast Tempo

When these teams met in early January, the game was played at a frenetic pace. The teams combined for a substantial 142 field-goal attempts. Playing a faster-paced game isn’t anything new for either of these teams. North Carolina averages a robust 66 field goal attempts per game this season and NC State is at 60 shots per contest.


Final Analysis & Pick

NC State is much more offensively productive at home compared to on the road. The Wolfpack have scored 76 points or more in all 6 of their ACC home games. Unfortunately, their defensive performances have been brutal of late. NC State has allowed 90.4 points per contest over their previous 5 games. During that span, their opponents shot a combined 51.6% and converted on an alarmingly high 50.0% of their 3-point attempts.

There’s no questioning how talented or good North Carolina is. However, if the Heels possess a flaw, it’s a tendency to be lax defensively. As a matter of fact, the Tar Heels have surrendered 77.8 points per contest and allowed their opponent to shoot a combined 48.9% during their previous 5 games.

There’s good reason why the total in this contest is so high. I see this as being an extremely entertaining game to watch and with plenty of points being scored. One of my NCAA basketball picks will reflect that prediction.

NCAAB Free Pick: 'Over' 167Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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