Georgia Tech vs UNC Odds, Predictions | How to Bet This ACC Game
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Pete Nance (North Carolina)
Georgia Tech vs. North Carolina Odds
The year has not gone the way many expected for North Carolina, a team that was ranked No. 1 in the country in the preseason. The Tar Heels began the year 5-0, but have since lost four straight games, including its ACC opener at Virginia Tech.
This will be Georgia Tech’s ACC opener. The Yellow Jackets are 6-3 and fresh off a thrilling 79-77 victory over rival Georgia. However, pulling out a win over the Tar Heels may prove to be a tougher task.
Dating back to 2012, North Carolina has won 11 of the past 14 meetings. The odds say North Carolina is a 13.5-point favorite this year, but I have my eye on the total.
Georgia Tech has used a nine-man rotation to begin this season and it has three double-digit scorers thus far. Miles Kelly, Tuesday night’s hero, leads the way with 13.4 points per game, while shooting 37.8% from deep.
Dallan Coleman averages 10.3 points per game while Deivon Smith averages 10.1 points and 5.9 rebounds,. Forward Javon Franklin also stuffs the stat sheet, averaging 9.2 points and a team-high 7.2 rebounds per game. Franklin also adds 2.2 blocks, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game.
Georgia Tech averages 72.1 points per game, though it doesn’t run the most efficient offense. Georgia Tech is 300th in effective field goal percentage and takes the 15th most two-point attempts per game, though it makes just 48.1% of them (279th nationally). Georgia Tech is not much better from beyond the arc, shooting just 29.6% and making 5.6 threes per game (326th nationally).
The Yellow Jackets make up for it by protecting the ball and rebounding. They average just 10.4 turnovers per game, which is the 21st fewest in the country. That is an area in which the Yellow Jackets should do well in Saturday as UNC’s defense ranks 312th in turnover percentage.
Georgia Tech averages 38.2 rebounds per game, with 13.1 coming on the offensive end (33rd nationally). However, Georgia Tech also allows 38.2 rebounds per game. It allows 14.2 offensive rebounds — third most in the country — and ranks 349th in defensive rebounding percentage.
Georgia Tech ranks 102nd in adjusted defensive efficiency. It does defend the three-point line as opponents are making just 28.3% of threes, however, it has also gotten a little lucky. Georgia Tech’s opponents are making just 60.6% of their free-throw attempts. UNC shoots 75% at the stripe.
North Carolina usually has one of the deepest teams in the country, though head coach Hubert Davis has used a shorter rotation since taking over.
That rotation could be even shorter if center and preseason ACC Player of the Year Armando Bacot is out again. Bacot suffered a right shoulder contusion last week at Indiana and sat out the loss to Virginia Tech. Bacot is questionable for Saturday’s game, though Davis said Bacot practiced Thursday.
Getting Bacot back in the lineup would be huge for UNC as he averages 16 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. He is also the one most likely to exploit Georgia Tech’s defensive rebounding woes as he averages 4.5 offensive rebounds per game.
Without Bacot, UNC will use a smaller lineup with Pete Nance at center. Nance has been solid since transferring from Northwestern, averaging 12.9 points and 6.3 rebounds, while shooting 35% from deep. The three-point shot has been an issue for UNC as it is shooting just 29.2% from deep, which ranks 327th nationally. However, I would argue that has a lot to do with shot selection.
Despite the struggles from three, UNC is still averaging 79.4 points per game and is 10th in adjusted offensive efficiency. However, the defense has been an issue. North Carolina is giving up 75.9 points per game. UNC is also allowing opponents to make 34.9% of their threes, which is 263rd nationally.
Georgia Tech vs. North Carolina Betting Pick
The over is just 4-5 in North Carolina games and 2-6 in Georgia Tech contests this season. However at 142.5, I expect this game to go over. Five of Georgia Tech’s nine games have had at least 143 points, including three of the four against high-major opponents. Meanwhile, five of UNC’s nine games have also had at least 143 points.
Additionally, neither Georgia Tech nor North Carolina has performed at a high level defensively, with both ranking outside out of the top 50 in adjusted defensive efficiency.
I like the total over 142.5 and I would play it up to 145.
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