Odds & Pick for North Carolina vs. Miami Basketball: Bet Tar Heels Over Shorthanded Hurricanes
Jaylynn Nash/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Garrison Brooks.
- The North Carolina Tar Heels will go to battle against the Miami Hurricanes in an ACC matchup on Tuesday night.
- The Tar Heels have not impressed so far this season, but the Hurricanes have two key players out, making this a great bounce-back spot for UNC.
- BJ Cunningham breaks down the conference matchup below and shares a betting pick based on his analysis.
North Carolina vs. Miami Odds
Miami looks to avoid losing three straight games and five of its last six on Tuesday when it hosts North Carolina.
The Tar Heels are coming off their worst season in over two decades, and things haven’t been much better this season. North Carolina has struggled in true road games, losing three straight to start the season.
Tuesday will be a perfect opportunity for it to pick up its first road win of the season against a short-handed Miami squad.
Injuries have been the story of Miami’s season so far. Chris Lykes, the Hurricanes’ point guard and best player, has been on the sidelines for most of the season and will miss Wednesday’s contest against North Carolina.
Miami coach Jim Larranaga confirms Chris Lykes will NOT play against UNC this week. Says Lykes told him its the worst ankle sprain he's ever had.
— Brendan Marks (@BrendanRMarks) January 4, 2021
To make matters worse, 7-foot center Rodney Miller Jr. is also on the sidelines for the rest of the season. Miami was picked to finish in the middle of the pack in the ACC, but after three straight losses to open up conference play, it looks like it’ll finish near the bottom of the ACC.
When North Carolina has the ball
The biggest hurdle Roy Williams’ squad has had to overcome the past two years is downright terrible shooting from the field.
Last season, the Tar Heels had the worst effective field goal percentage in the ACC, and things haven’t gotten much better this year. North Carolina ranks 264th in the country in effective field percentage and 287th in 3-point percentage, per KenPom.
Where North Carolina excels is in its frontcourt with Armando Bacot and Garrison Brooks. The duo has led the Tar Heels to the third-best offensive rebounding percentage in the country. So, a lot of the Tar Heels’ points this year have come on second-chance opportunities.
The issue for Miami hasn’t been on the defensive end of the floor.
The Hurricanes rank 47th in defensive efficiency, per KenPom, and are one of the best defensive rebounding teams in the ACC. That will come in handy against North Carolina’s frontcourt.
The one area where they struggle, however, is against the 3-point shot. With how bad North Carolina is from beyond the arc, that weakness shouldn’t hurt them too much.
When Miami has the ball
The problem for Miami on offense is it’s so dependent on Lykes being in the lineup. The Hurricanes run a ton of pick-and-roll, but it has suffered with Lykes on the sidelines.
The biggest issue for the Hurricanes has been beyond the arc, as they’re shooting only 28% this season from deep. Without Lykes, they’ve also been turning the ball over way too often, ranking 235th in turnover percentage, per KenPom.
With the towering presences of Bacot and Brooks, teams need to beware before entering the paint against North Carolina. The Tar Heels are in the top 100 in both block percentage and 2-point percentage allowed, which will be crucial against the Hurricanes because they can’t shoot the ball from deep.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Miami has struggled this season when not at full strength, and I think those issues will continue on Tuesday night.
Despite its shooting woes, North Carolina’s frontcourt should be able to dominate this game, especially with Miller out for the Hurricanes.
With Lykes and Miller out, I have the Tar Heels projected as -5.73 favorites, so I think there’s some value on them at -3.5.
Pick: North Carolina -3.5 | Play up to -4