Virginia vs. North Carolina Odds, Picks & Predictions: ACC Quarterfinal Betting Preview
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
- Virginia desperately needs a victory in its ACC quarterfinal matchup against North Carolina.
- The Tar Heels are coming into this matchup red-hot, though, as they're coming off of a monster win over Duke on the road.
- Where does the value lie? Kyle Remillard has you covered.
Updated Virginia vs. North Carolina Odds
-110o / -110u
|North Carolina Odds|
-110o / -110u
Virginia’s season is on the line as it matches up against North Carolina in the ACC Tournament.
The Cavaliers currently sit as one of the “First Four Out,” according to Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology. But the window of opportunity has opened after two bubble teams — Wake Forest and Xavier — lost their first-round tournament matchups.
If Virginia can defeat North Carolina in this quarterfinal duel, it will likely be enough to punch its ticket to the Big Dance.
That will be no easy feat against a North Carolina side that has been rolling the last two weeks. The Tar Heels have ripped off 11 wins in their last 13 games, including five straight.
Hubert Davis’ squad is coming off its biggest win of the season after disrupting Mike Krzyzewski’s retirement party despite being 12-point underdogs.
This could be a tough spot for North Carolina, which will be facing a desperate Virginia program.
Virginia was able to survive Louisville, 51-50, in its first-round game in the ACC Tournament. Virginia’s defense dominated the matchup, holding Louisville to just 36% shooting from the floor.
Tony Bennett’s squad sits in the middle of the ACC in offensive efficiency (eighth) and defensive efficiency (ninth). But the group has been flying under the radar a bit, winning seven of its last 10 games. Two of those losses came by a combined five points to Duke and Florida State.
The Cavaliers play at the slowest tempo in the country, according to KenPom. They will likely look to take the air out of the ball today and utilize the entire shot clock before getting up a shot attempt. Bennett will want to turn this game into a half-court slugfest.
Offensively, Virginia does most of its damage inside the perimeter, where it scores 59% of its points. The Cavaliers don’t take many outside shots, as they’ve only connected on 32% on the season.
In the win against Louisville yesterday, Virginia went 0-for-6 from 3-point territory. It was the first time in ACC Tournament history that a program won a game without hitting a 3-pointer.
The Tar Heels look to be peaking at just the right time, winning 11 of their last 13 games.
The squad is 23-8 on the season, but when they fall, they fall hard. The Heels’ eight losses have come by an average margin of 17 points, although a massive loss to Virginia is unlikely given the slow tempo that the Cavs play at.
North Carolina has slowed down the tempo a bit under Davis, focusing more on rebounding. And the Tar Heels have secured defensive rebounds at the second-highest rate in the country.
Also, the defense has been elite at defending without fouling.
If there is a chink in North Carolina’s armor, it is the perimeter defense coupled with the lack of forced turnovers. Opponents have converted on 35% of its 3-point attempts, which ranks outside the top 200 in the country.
North Carolina fails to create turnovers, and likely won’t find many in this matchup against a surgical Virginia offensive attack.
North Carolina’s offense ranks among the top 20 in the country in terms of efficiency. The group has four players who are averaging between 14 and 17 points per game.
Virginia’s pack-line defense will likely shut down the paint for the UNC bigs, forcing the Heels to beat it from the perimeter. That’s a task that they’re more than capable of succeeding at.
Virginia vs. North Carolina Betting Pick
On paper, this isn’t the best matchup for Virginia, but the situation couldn’t be any better.
With two bubble teams losing in the first round on Wednesday, the door is open for Virginia to slide in. We will see a desperate UVA side on both ends of the floor tonight.
Meanwhile, North Carolina has solidified its NCAA Tournament bid after upsetting Duke to end the regular season. It was an emotional game with so much media coverage leading up to it, so that could lead to a potential let-down spot in this matchup.
Virginia is going to take the air out of the ball and force North Carolina into a dog fight. The Cavaliers will need Kihei Clark and Armaan Franklin (both 36% 3-point shooters) to hit some outside shots to open up the lane.
I anticipate this game will come down to the wire, and I am taking the points with a Virginia program that has one last opportunity at making the NCAA Tournament.