College Basketball Odds, Pick & Preview for North Carolina vs. Miami (Tuesday, Jan. 18)

College Basketball Odds, Pick & Preview for North Carolina vs. Miami (Tuesday, Jan. 18) article feature image

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  • Miami (FL) looks to topple North Carolina after recently beating Duke on the road.
  • The Hurricanes have struggled on defense and the Tar Heels will have a significant edge in the rebounding department.
  • Kody Malstrom takes a peak at the matchup and breaks down in depth why he's backing the Heels.

North Carolina vs. Miami Odds

Tuesday, Jan. 18
7 p.m. ET
ACC Network
North Carolina Odds
+105o / -125u
Miami Odds
+105o / -125u
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Another week has passed and nothing much has changed for the ACC.

Duke still remains on top and is still the only ACC team in the top 25. Others are scratching, clawing and fighting their way to be a contender for the league crown, but not many have really stood out.

One team has slightly separated from the pack and that is North Carolina. Normally one of the ACC elites, North Carolina hit an early-season slump thanks to its inability to defend.

Coming off of a two-game win streak against Virginia and Georgia Tech, UNC will look to build its case against the head-scratching Hurricanes.

Will UNC be able to keep redeeming itself? Or will the Hurricanes once again play spoiler to the ACC elites?

Miami (FL) already beat Duke, so let's see if it can topple the team 12 miles away from the Blue Devils, as well.

North Carolina Tar Heels

When I first did a dive into UNC, I initially thought this was going to be Caleb Love's team with Armando Bacot being the clear-cut No. 2 as a force down low.

Boy was I wrong. This is Bacot's team.

Averaging 17.4 points and 11.2 rebounds per game, the emergence of Bacot has led UNC to easy wins in its last two games. He had 29 points and 21 rebounds against Virginia and 29 points and 12 rebounds against Georgia Tech.

Bacot isn't doing it alone for the 13th-ranked AdjO Tar Heels, though. Love has taken a much needed step forward from his freshman campaign, as he's shooting a near 20% better from the 3-point line.

R.J Davis, Brady Manek and Dawson Garcia round out the rest of the heavy scoring. Miami's 198th-ranked AdjD will have a tough time slowing down this group.

Scoring aside, UNC will have a heavy mismatch in terms of attacking the boards. North Carolina has built an identity on crashing the glass and starting out fast, a plan I confidently assume it will retain, as its averaging exactly nine more rebounds per game than Miami.

Miami Hurricanes

I'm not sure what to make of this team. I didn't put much stock into the Canes before beating Duke, and I'm struggling to do the same now.

Sure, the Hurricanes caught my attention with their signature win. But like clockwork, they struggled with Florida State's size and defense and lost on the road.

The offense is legit and nearly rivals UNC in the rankings, ranking 21st in AdjO, per KenPom. This is a unit that heavily relies on its guards, with six playing meaningful minutes and three of them in double figures in scoring.

The Hurricanes score in bunches, but not as much from the perimeter as you would think. They are above average in the ACC in scoring, but they make one less 3 per game than UNC and take more attempts. If this turns into a shootout, I fear Miami will get left in the dust.

Miami ranks dead last in rebounds per game, adding an emphasis to shot making in this one.

Luckily, UNC is not an ideal defensive team (73rd in AdjD), but if the shots don't fall, then Miami may be in trouble.

North Carolina vs. Miami Betting Pick

I believe this is the game Miami falls back to earth in.

Sure, the Canes are leading the ACC in the standings as of writing, but would we even be talking about them if Duke didn't have 15+ turnovers? No.

North Carolina is the better team on both sides of the court and will look to score in bunches against one of the worst defenses in the ACC.

Even if the shooting starts cold, UNC will greatly benefit from second chances, as it has a clear advantage on the boards.

Look for Bacot to once again have a monster game on the block, leading the Tar Heels to an easy victory on the road.

Pick: UNC -2

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