‘Under’ the Play When North Carolina Travels to Louisville

North Carolina Tar Heels

Willie Bee

Saturday, February 17, 2018 1:51 PM UTC

Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018 1:51 PM UTC

There’s a distinct home-court advantage when North Carolina and Louisville get together, and the Cardinals are slight home favorites on the NCAA basketball odds tonight.

North Carolina Tar Heels vs Louisville Cardinals

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Free NCAAB Pick: Under 156
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

Saturday’s college basketball card should give everyone their first real dose of what the atmosphere will be in upcoming conference tournaments. Perhaps no game better exemplifies that than the collision in Louisville between the Cardinals and North Carolina Tar Heels.

It would seem a given that Virginia will earn the No. 1 seed going into Brooklyn for the ACC Tournament (March 6-10), and by that honor the Cavaliers will get byes in the first two rounds. So will the 2-4 teams in the regular season standings, and the 8:15 PM (ET) tip at KFC Yum! Center pits a UNC team currently in the 4-slot with Louisville just behind in fifth. That close proximity to each other in the standings is reflected in the NCAA basketball odds where Louisville is favored by 1-1½.

Adel Expected Back On Floor For The Ville

The last couple of weeks have been just about perfect for Roy Williams and the Tar Hills. North Carolina has won 4-straight, covering each time and shooting very well in three of the matchups. The Heels were far too much for Notre Dame to handle earlier this week, UNC closing the contest on a 17-3 run to easily beat a 10½ point spread in Chapel Hill. Four Tar Heels put up double-digit points, led by Joel Berry II’s 21.

Like North Carolina, Louisville suffered through a recent 3-game, but the Cardinals have pulled out of that by winning their last two contests. The latest dubya came last Sunday in Pittsburgh where the Cards embarrassed the Panthers, 94-60, in a clash Bookmaker closed Louisville on a -10½ line. They had previously beaten Georgia Tech by 23 points, accomplishing both wins without leading scorer Deng Adel. The junior forward injured an ankle in a loss to Syracuse, and is listed as probable for tonight’s tilt.

Rivalry Trends, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick

It was just short of a year ago the schools met in Chapel Hill, North Carolina treating their fans and backers to a 74-63 victory as 7½ point home chalk. The resulted continued a strong domination by the home team since the two began to face off as conference foes, the Tar Heels winning all three games played at the Smith Center and the Cardinals taking all four on their floor. The last four matchups, including two at the Chicken Basket in Louisville, never made it to the totals.

The home court advantage in this series and the fact Adel will be back for the Cardinals makes it tempting to take Louisville. But I’m more interested in the total, which is 156, and will play it ‘under’ for my free college basketball pick.

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#CardNation, do you have your ⚪⚪⚪ ready for Saturday? pic.twitter.com/X6frlA6wjy

— Louisville Basketball (@LouisvilleMBB) February 16, 2018

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