North Carolina vs Virginia Odds, Predictions, Picks | ACC Betting Guide

North Carolina vs Virginia Odds, Predictions, Picks | ACC Betting Guide article feature image

Photo by Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Virginia Cavaliers basketball player Armaan Franklin.

North Carolina vs North Carolina Odds

Saturday, Feb. 25
6 p.m. ET
North Carolina Odds
-110o / -110u
Virginia Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

It's peculiar times for both of these elite basketball programs as the Virginia Cavaliers head to Chapel Hill to take on the struggling Tar Heels.

The Cavs are coming off an embarrassing performance at Boston College — they were favored by 9.5 points and lost by 15. Many are beginning to wonder if this Virginia team will even make it past the first weekend of the NCAA tournament, and rightfully so.

For North Carolina, things aren't much better. The Heels managed to bounce back from their loss at NC State with a 63-59 victory at Notre Dame, but there are still a plethora of questions surrounding this program.

Entering the season as the No. 1 team in the AP Poll, the Tar Heels have been by far the most disappointing team in the power conferences.

It'll be interesting to see if they can build some momentum heading into the ACC Tournament and sort of figure things out right before the NCAA tournament like they did last March.

These two teams met in Charlottesville back on Jan. 10, when Virginia took care of business at home, 65-58.

I think there's a clear betting approach to take here, so let's take a deep dive into both of these teams.

North Carolina Tar Heels

I think everyone in Chapel Hill is starting to realize the impact of the departure of Brady Manek. He relentlessly carried this UNC team throughout the month of March, and his replacement has yet to fit the bill.

Forward Pete Nance has been tough to watch offensively, shooting only 28% from beyond the arc.

With a big three tandem of Armando Bacot, Caleb Love and R.J. Davis, it's astonishing to see the Heels sitting third-to-last in the ACC standings.

I already spoke about Nance's struggles from the 3-point line, but it's practically the entire team that is struggling to get in a groove from long range.

The Heels rank an aforementioned 342nd in 3-point percentage, as 80% of their scoring comes from inside the arc and the charity stripe.

However, this could potentially be a spot that they can have some success, as Virginia only ranks 179th in defending 3-pointers.

It's not just the struggles from the outside that have hurt the Heels, though. They also find themselves ranking 276th in Rim & 3 Rate, which would suggest a lot of their offensive possessions result in poor shot selection.

What's wild is the star power of Bacot, Love and Davis has the Heels inside the top 50 in offensive efficiency.

If they can start to find more consistency from beyond the arc — as well as better shot selection — I can definitely see this team ramping things up heading into March.

Unfortunately, going up against a stifling, snail-paced UVA team isn't exactly what the doctor ordered.

Virginia Cavaliers

Tony Bennett's teams always prides themselves on two things: defense and taking care of the basketball.

This is once again the case with this particular Cavs squad, as they rank 29th in defensive efficiency and turn the ball over at the fourth-lowest rate in the country.

The question we always ask about Virginia teams is if they have enough scoring to overcome an off night on the defensive end of the court.

As is the case with most Cavs teams, they are a complete snail on offense, ranking 360th in tempo.

That wouldn't typically be an issue, but their offense ranks in the middle of the pack in terms of Rim & 3 Rate, per ShotQuality. This means they aren't getting the best quality of shots while they are on offense, which may also lead to some regression.

Their 231st ranking in FT% does not help their case, either.

Between Kihei Clark, Jayden Gardner and Armaan Franklin, the Cavs are pretty even-keeled on offense. They seem to be missing that DeAndre Hunter, Kyle Guy type of scorer that led this team to a national title a few years ago.

It's one of the main talking points as to why many do not believe in this Virginia team.

Luckily for the Cavs, they are facing a Tar Heels team that does not shoot well from beyond the arc, so they may be able to get away with being subpar offensively.

I do expect them to come out with a fiery defensive effort on Saturday after Wednesday's disastrous performance, so I believe they will be able to hang tough until the very end at least.

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North Carolina vs Virginia Betting Pick

This is typically a spot where I would back UVA due to the fact that the market tends to overreact from a game-to-game basis.

However, I really don't think I can trust this team right now, especially given the fact that UNC is 11-2 at home this season.

However, I do not want to back the Heels here either, as I squirm at the thought of trusting the current state of this offense against Bennett's defense.

I think the real play here is the under, as I do expect a sharper effort from UVA defensively as it looks to bounce back.

UNC's defense is no slouch either, as it's 48th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency.

Given all of those factors, I think this game is trending towards a snails race so I feel comfortable taking an under.

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