NCAAB Odds, Picks & Prediction for UNC vs Wake Forest
Grant Halverson/Getty Images. Pictured: North Carolina’s Pete Nance.
North Carolina vs Wake Forest Odds
|North Carolina Odds|
-114o / -106u
|Wake Forest Odds|
-114o / -106u
A recurring theme throughout ACC play this season has been the fact that there are a lot of pretty decent teams but very few elite teams. Both of these groups fit that billing.
It may surprise some to see that description associated with North Carolina given that the Tar Heels were the unanimous preseason No. 1 team, but it’s just the truth right now.
The Heels were a major disappointment in the nonconference portion of the calendar, and that has trickled over into league play.
Meanwhile in Winston-Salem, Steve Forbes has once again put together a pretty solid basketball team via the transfer portal.
The Deacs are currently on the wrong side of the NCAA Tournament picture, but they could absolutely play their way into the field with a strong February.
Let’s discuss where the betting value lies in a swing game in the ACC.
The Tar Heels have lost two in a row and now have a difficult task in front of them to avoid a three-game losing streak.
UNC let one slip away at home against Pittsburgh and then came up short in a rivalry game against Duke at Cameron Indoor.
Before that skid, Carolina had been playing better, but Hubert Davis’ team has too many inconsistencies on both sides of the floor right now. Senior Armando Bacot remains a dominant big, but he’s not getting enough touches on the inside. Meanwhile, Pete Nance continues to run a little hot and cold.
The Tar Heels’ perimeter defense also remains suspect, which is cause for concern against a Wake Forest team that has a plethora of capable shooters from the outside.
North Carolina won the first matchup against the Demon Deacons in a shootout, but it still gave up 79 points in the Dean Dome.
If the Heels want to complete the sweep, they must do a better job of chasing Wake off of the 3-point line.
Similar to a few other teams in the ACC, Wake Forest boasts an elite offense and a mediocre defense.
The Deacs beat Notre Dame, 81-64, on Saturday.
Before that, however, they were on a four-game losing streak with each defeat coming by single digits. Getting the key stop at a critical time is something that has plagued this team in those close conference games.
Defensive issues aside, this team is really fun to watch in the half-court offensively. The ball moves from side to side, and Florida transfer Tyree Appleby does a great job of running the show at the point.
A focal point for Wake in this game will be keeping Bacot and Nance off the glass. If they can hold Carolina to one shot on most trips, the Deacs have the personnel to outpace the Heels in their own building.
North Carolina vs Wake Forest Betting Pick
I think the Carolina losing streak moves to three games on Tuesday night. Wake Forest will have revenge on its mind after losing the earlier matchup in Chapel Hill.
Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum should be rocking for a matchup with an in-state rival.
Most importantly, Appleby and the rest of the Wake guards should be able to carve up a mediocre Carolina defense all night. I expect Wake to generate all sorts of open looks in the half-court, and it has shot the ball well at home all season.
Carolina will get some easy ones on the inside, but this team is not playing to its potential right now, and I don’t have any confidence in the Tar Heels handling business in what should be a hostile road environment.
Give me the Deacs to pick up a big win at home in a game that will help their NCAA Tournament prospects.
Pick: Wake Forest +1 (Play to PK)
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