North Carolina vs Indiana Odds, Picks | Wednesday NCAAB Betting Guide
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: RJ Davis (UNC)
North Carolina vs. Indiana Odds
|North Carolina Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
After dropping two games in a row in the Phil Knight Invitational, things don’t get any easier for the North Carolina Tar Heels. They head to Indiana to take on the Hoosiers in a marquee Wednesday night ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup.
Indiana is 6-0, but it has not played the caliber of teams that UNC has. The Hoosiers’ only top-250 KenPom matchup was with Xavier, which was an impressive road win.
The interesting part of this game is that Armando Bacot and Trayce Jackson-Davis — two of the nation’s top bigs — are both battling injuries. Hubert Davis says he expects Bacot to play through an ankle issue, and Jackson-Davis told the media he will play through his hand injury.
On top of that, Indiana’s Trey Galloway is questionable, but practiced on Monday.
With Bacot on the floor, he should essentially help cancel out TJD’s impact on the game. Indiana’s game is mostly played in the paint, with nearly 60% of its points this season coming on 2-pointers.
Neither team fouls much, but UNC gets to the line even more than Indiana.
Expect the rebounding edge to go slightly to the Hoosiers with the home crowd backing them, but this is a great spot to bet UNC, especially with the market undervaluing it slightly.
Bacot is a double-double machine, and with him in the lineup, this team has a consistent scorer in the paint. On the season, Bacot is averaging 16.7 points and 11.3 rebounds per game.
He also has the supporting cast of Caleb Love, R.J. Davis, Pete Nance and Leaky Black in the scoring department.
Black is averaging 8.7 points while the rest of that list averages in double figures. Not many teams can match Indiana’s scoring depth, but UNC is one of the teams that can.
The UNC eFG% is brought down a bit by how ineffective it can be from downtown. Love and Davis are shooting below 30% from downtown. Both shot around 36% last season, so expect these numbers to smooth out.
Adding Nance from Northwestern gives the Tar Heels another alternative on the perimeter, as he and Black are both shooting over 40% from deep.
Indiana’s weakest spot is defending 3s. It’s allowing opponents to shoot around 29.4%, which ranks 78th in the NCAA. Even if UNC does not shoot many 3-pointers, it will have opportunities.
Caleb Love is a bucket! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/c8gsMsxMgS
— Matt Babcock (@MattBabcock11) November 24, 2022
UNC ranks 23rd in FTA/FGA. Indiana ranks 95th, with much of that coming from TJD or Xavier Johnson.
The Tar Heels have more aggressive guards when driving to the hoop. Indiana has not seen that yet. The Hoosiers ranked 194th in FTA/FGA on defense last season, so expect these numbers to regress a bit with a tougher schedule upcoming.
Otherwise, Indiana is extremely efficient on offense. Its 61.6% eFG% ranks sixth in the nation, but much of this has to do with the weak schedule it has played.
The Hoosiers shoot better than UNC from outside, but only Johnson, Miller Kopp and Tamar Bates are true threats from deep. The Tar Heels are allowing opponents to shoot almost 35% from outside, so these are scoring alternatives to the usual internal game that Indiana plays.
There are not many teams who have two bigs who can help defend a player as dynamic as Jackson-Davis, but both Bacot and Nance are averaging around 1.5 blocks per game.
TJD might meet an occasional double team on the block, but UNC needs to be aware because he’s quick on the backdoor.
ARE YOU SERIOUS, TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS?! 😱
— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) January 27, 2022
North Carolina vs. Indiana Betting Pick
North Carolina has proven it can hold tight with good teams, even if those games were at a neutral venue.
Expect both UNC and Indiana to get to the line, but Bacot can guard Jackson-Davis.
UNC’s guards are much stronger and have not played up to their potential yet. Expect that to change in this one.
Take the Tar Heels at +6.5 (-106), and play them to +5 (-110).
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