North Carolina vs. NC State College Basketball Odds & Picks: Bet the Wolfpack in In-State Rivalry
William Howard/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: DJ Funderburk (left) and NC State head coach Kevin Keatts (right).
- The North Carolina Tar Heels take on the NC State Wolfpack in an ACC rivalry game on Tuesday night.
- The Tar Heels have won nine of the last 10 over the Wolfpack, including each of the last five, but Mike Randle sees NC State pulling this one out — if it has two key players.
- Check out Randle's full betting preview with updated odds below.
Editors Note: As of Monday, Dec. 21, tonight’s North Carolina vs. NC State college basketball game was moved from 9 p.m. ET to 7 p.m. ET.
North Carolina vs. NC State Odds
|North Carolina Odds||+1.5 [BET NOW]|
|NC State Odds||-1.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+105 / -125 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||144.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET|
No. 17 North Carolina has dominated the matchups with in-state rival NC State, winning nine of the teams’ past 10 meetings, including the last five in a row.
Can Kevin Keatts’ Wolfpack lean on a strong front line and dynamic freshman guard to pull the home upset over the Tar Heels?
North Carolina Tar Heels
North Carolina (5-2) has rebounded nicely after consecutive losses to Texas and Iowa. It now heads to Raleigh to open ACC play against rival North Carolina State.
The Tar Heels have struggled to score all season, with poor shooting metrics across the board. They rank just 293th in 3-point shooting (26.6%) and 228th from the free-throw line (66.7%). The Tar Heels’ normally strong 2-point offense has also suffered, ranking just 170th (49.4%), per KenPom.
North Carolina’s offense revolves around 6-foot-10 senior Garrison Brooks (11.7 ppg, 7.4 rpg), who looks recovered from an ankle injury sustained in an early December loss to Texas. His frontcourt mate is sophomore Armando Bacot (11.4 ppg, 8.7 rpg), who is averaging 16.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks the past two games.
Freshman point guard Caleb Love (11.1 ppg, 3.7 apg) has been a solid contributor but must protect the ball better (3.6 turnovers per game). Fellow freshman R.J. Davis (10 ppg) has also been solid, but the Tar Heels lack consistent scoring from beyond the arc.
Their only consistent 3-point shooting threat is senior guard Andrew Platek (6.7 ppg, 42.1% 3P), who plays only 16 minutes per game.
The Tar Heels need to find success scoring inside, as they generate almost 59% of their scoring from inside the arc (39th-most in the country).
NC State Wolfpack
Keatts enters his fourth season at N.C. State with a wide variance of expectations. The Wolfpack lost 26 points per game in backcourt scoring with the graduation of C.J. Bryce (13.3 ppg) and Markell Johnson (12.8 ppg).
However, the rapid development of four-star recruit Cam Hayes (11.3 ppg, 5.3 apg, 36.4% 3-point) has NC State already thinking about the NCAA Tournament.
Hayes is joined by senior and leading scorer Devon Daniels (16.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.1 apg), who has impressed on both ends of the floor with seven steals in the past two games. Senior guard Braxton Beverly (8.4 ppg, 50% 3-point) provides leadership and opens up the floor on offense.
The key for NC State is simply health. It was without Hayes and senior D.J. Funderburk in its last two games. The Wolfpack dressed only nine players in their loss to Saint Louis (80-69) and win over Campbell (69-50).
If Funderburk can go, he teams with 6-foot-11 sophomore Manny Bates (10.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg) in a strong frontcourt that can limit North Carolina. Bates was a force in the loss to the Billikens, with 20 points, seven rebounds, and eight blocks.
NC State’s metrics are strong on both sides of the ball. It ranks in the top 50 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, per KenPom, but has played a soft opening schedule. Per Warren Nolan, the Wolfpack’s opening five games rank just 248th in the country.
Betting Analysis & Pick
This pick is entirely dependent on Hayes and Funderburk. If both are on the floor, the pick is NC State at home. The Tar Heels’ weak guard play will struggle on offense, and I expect Bates and Funderburk to compete well against Brooks and Bacot.
If either player is out, this is stay-away for me. Assuming Keatts’ team is healthy, I’m gladly laying the 1.5 points, which will likely attract UNC support from the casual bettor.
Pick: NC State -1.5 (down to N.C. State -2) (if Hayes/Funderburk play).