College Basketball Odds, Picks & Prediction for NC State vs UNC
Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Casey Morsell
NC State vs North Carolina Odds
|NC State Odds|
-110o / -110u
|North Carolina Odds|
-110o / -110u
One of college basketball’s more underappreciated rivalries tips it back up Saturday evening at the Dean Dome when the NC State Wolfpack take on the North Carolina Tar Heels. Plain and simple, these two programs don’t like each other.
It is a series that has been dominated by the Tar Heels in recent memory, but with NC State in the midst of a four-game winning streak, this one should be very competitive.
North Carolina is starting to play like the team that entered the year No. 1 in the preseason polls. The Heels are 8-2 in their last 10 games, and are defending at a much higher level.
One of these two groups will rattle off another victory, while the other will take a disappointing rivalry loss. Let’s discuss where the betting value lies.
This has has been a make-or-break year for Kevin Keatts, and he continues to deliver in the ultra-important season. The Wolfpack beat a ranked Miami team at home last weekend, and then handled business on the road at Georgia Tech.
The great thing about this team is it doesn’t have to be the same guy every night. The Pack are getting balanced scoring, and different players are stepping up when needed.
Winthrop transfer DJ Burns has been a massive addition to the frontcourt for NC State, and he will be key against a Carolina front line featuring All-American Armando Bacot.
Guys like Jack Clark and Ernest Ross will also be counted on to keep UNC off the glass and alter shots around the rim.
When NC State is making shots from the outside, it can keep pace with just about anybody in the country, including the rival Tar Heels.
Things have not gone according to plan for North Carolina after an offseason which really hyped up this team’s prospects.
Much of that was likely a residual effect of last year’s run to the National Championship game. but this team is way more talented than what it showed in November.
There have been some positive strides made since that point, but Hubert Davis’ team still has a lot of work to do to help bolster a relatively barren overall tournament resume.
Carolina’s best win is over Ohio State on a neutral floor. Aside from that, there’s not a single win over a team comfortably in the NCAA Tournament field right now.
Plenty of opportunities for quality wins in ACC play remain, starting Saturday evening against the Wolfpack.
The Tar Heels still rank outside the top 60 in KenPom’s defensive efficiency rankings, which is cause for concern against a dynamic NC State offense.
Guys like Terquavion Smith and Jarkel Joiner can really attack off the bounce, and UNC will need to be better in its help defense to be able to slow them down.
NC State vs North Carolina Betting Pick
I see this game coming right down to the final minutes. so I will gladly play the Wolfpack getting nearly six here.
Keatts’ team has been on a tear of late and there will be a ton of motivation for this one to finally knock off the in-state rival.
NC State has the interior size and depth to keep Bacot in check and hold its own on the boards.
As far as the backcourt is concerned, there is no shortage of good guards in this matchup, but Smith, Joiner and Casey Morsell should all be able to find open shots against a mediocre Tar Heels defense.
Give me the Pack to hang tough and cover this number, and I would not be shocked if they pulled off the upset outright.
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