Virginia Cavaliers (20-2) vs North Carolina Tar Heels (19-4)
NCAA Basketball: Monday, February 11, 2019, at 7:00 PM EST, Dean Smith Center
Spread: EVEN Over/Under: 142 Moneyline: Virginia(-117) UNC(-103)
ESPN NCAA Basketball Picks Virginia Cavaliers vs North Carolina Tar Heels
ACC basketball is getting really exciting. We have already seen the two battles between the Virginia Cavaliers and the Duke Blue Devils. This game tonight in Chapel Hill is going to be huge, and then later this month we get Duke vs UNC! The Dean Dome is going to be a test between two teams that need to prove themselves for different reasons.
The Cavaliers had two shots at taking down the juggernaut that is the Duke Blue Devils and fell short in both attempts. Duke is the only team to take down Tony Bennett’s team this season. In the last game, Duke got out to a small lead in the closing minutes of the game and then took off to put the Cavaliers away for good. Zion Williamson had an insane block, and Virginia couldn’t pull off the win in Charlottesville.
On the season Virginia is much more improved on the offensive side of the ball. Kyle Guy is the leading scorer followed closely by De’Andre Hunter. They average 14.6 and 14.5PPG respectively. This team doesn’t pull down a lot of rebounds, but they share the burden on the boards. Six players are averaging 3.9RPG or better. As a team, they are averaging 72.22PPG, while shooting 47.68% from the field, 39.55% from three, and pull down 35.91RPG. Those are good enough for 147th, 33rd, 7th, and 123rd in the nation respectively.
This team is rated 2nd in the KenPom ratings. Their offense is 5th in the country and they are 3rd in defensive efficiency. This team does not waste possessions. Their most impressive win this season had to be the 81-59 shellacking they put on rivals Virginia Tech. The biggest difference between this year’s Virginia team and last year is that this team has an offense. What ultimately led to that embarrassing loss to UMBC in the tournament was their lack of ability on offense. They will need that improved offense to compete with North Carolina’s high powered offense.
If there is one thing that North Carolina knows how to do, it is putting up points. They have three guys averaging over 15PPG. Those players include Coby White, Cameron Johnson, and Luke Maye. Speaking of Coby White, the freshman has been tearing it up in the last five games. White is averaging 21.6PPG, 5.6APG, 3.8RPG, and 1.8SPG over their last five contests. The emergence of Coby White from good player to great player is what is going to help UNC as the season heads into March.
The last game the Tar Heels played Miami in Chapel Hill. Miami is a really bad team and honestly the worst team in the ACC. They still took UNC to overtime and only fell short 88-85 in the end. This was a concerning game for the Tar Heels. Outside of White’s 33 points, they couldn’t produce their normal high powered offense. Not to mention their defense looked awful and they allowed a lesser Miami team to score 77 in regulation.
As a team, the Tar Heels are averaging a ridiculous 88.3PPG, shooting 47.36% from the field, 37.8% from three, and pulling down 42.87RPG. Those numbers are good enough for 2nd, 40th, 28th, and 1st in the nation respectively. Those numbers translate to 8th on the KenPom rating board. Their offense is rated 7th and their defense is rated 19th. The Tar Heels need a win against a team like Virginia if they want to secure a 2-seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Cover the Spread 365 Betting Trends
#4 Virginia Cavaliers
(10-3) ATS in its last 13 games
(10-12) Over/Under this season
(7-1) ATS in Away games
#8 North Carolina Tar Heels
(7-3) ATS last 10 games
(12-11) Over/Under this season
(6-5-2) ATS in home games
ESPN NCAA Basketball Scores North Carolina Tar Heels vs Virginia Cavaliers
This is going to be a game between two really good teams. They are both efficient on offense and defense and are both looking for high seeds come March. The homecourt advantage is going to be strong for the Tar Heels. The atmosphere at Chapel Hill has not been what it was in the past, but it is still one of the best venues in the NCAA. It will be interesting to see if Virginia will be able to pull this game off. I have a feeling if the score gets into the 75-85 range, the Tar Heels are going to win this game running away. However, if there are 3 minutes left and it is 62-60, Virginia has a much better chance of winning. The spread is EVEN so I’m going to be taking a Moneyline bet.