Tennessee vs UNC Odds, Pick for Wednesday
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images. Picture: Armando Bacot.
Tennessee vs UNC Odds, Pick
Tennessee looks to straighten up after a pair of tough losses to Purdue and Kansas at the Maui Invitational. The Vols are still one of the best teams in the country, notching double-digit road victories against Wisconsin and Syracuse before the bumps in Hawaii.
They have yet another true test at North Carolina on Wednesday night. UNC has dropped one game to Villanova, but they crushed Arkansas to make up for that one a bit.
The Tar Heels are the better offensive team, and Tennessee is better defensively. That said, both run at a relatively quick pace and have weak spots where the other shows strength.
Ready to get in on the Tar Heels betting action in North Carolina? You’ll soon be able to join in on NC sports betting, as the state is expected to come online in 2024.
The Volunteers rank first in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency and 52nd offensively, but they don't turn the ball over much. They also only use up 15.5 seconds per possession on offense, and force opponents to use 18.6 seconds per possession defensively. UNC plays quickly enough to speed up the defensive pace.
Tennessee also loves to shoot threes. The Vols rank 94th in three-point attempt rate, shooting 33.1% from beyond the arc. Dalton Knecht, Jordan Gainey and Josiah-Jordan James are all shooting above 36% from deep. Santiago Vescovi is struggling with his long-range shot but hit at a 37% clip last season.
UNC, on the other hand, struggles with defending the arc. The Tar Heels are allowing opponents to shoot over 30% from three, ranking 115th in the country. They rank 312th in Open 3 Rate, per Shot Quality. And even if Tennessee is only shooting 46% from inside the perimeter, UNC ranks 355th in defending shots at the rim.
Tennessee shot over 50% from two-point range last year, so they should be able to improve.
The Vols are average at getting to the line, but when they do get there, they convert 77.7% of their attempts. If they can get to the stripe against North Carolina, they should be able to manufacture plenty of points from there.
Sports betting is coming to the Tar Heel state! Stay up to date on our North Carolina bet365 promo code!
UNC ranks 12th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency and 27th defensively. They also play at a quick offensive pace and slowly on defense. Offensively, they use 15.3 seconds per possession and hold opponents to 18.8 seconds per possession defensively. Overall, they rank 67th in Adjusted Tempo.
The Tar Heels are predominantly and inside team. They like to get the ball to Armando Bacot and let him work. UNC ranks 278th in three-point attempt rate.
The Tar Heels could be missing Cormac Ryan again, which will hurt in both scoring areas. But either way, it should not impact their approach.
Even when they do shoot from deep, they have been efficient. They rank 64th in three-point rate at 36.9%. Per Shot Quality, the Heels rank 28th in Open 3 Rate, as well. They rank 46th in points per possession at the rim, which is where Bacot and company excel and where the Vols can be exploited.
Tennessee is allowing opponents to shoot around 45% from inside the arc, ranking 51st in the country. The Vols rank 307th in defending the rim on defense (Shot Quality), so expect some negative regression against a team which likes to feed the ball inside.
Lastly, UNC thrives at getting to the stripe. The Heels rank 36th in free throw attempt rate, while the Vols rank 291st defensively. Since UNC holds a tremendous height advantage, expect the rebounding to tilt in UNC's direction. Tennessee will foul down low, too.
This game has all of the ingredients for an over. UNC will get plenty of put-back opportunities, and Tennessee should hit plenty of threes. Expect the paces to look similar to how each offense prefers to operate. This should force the game over the total.
Pick: Over 142.5 (Play to 143.5)
Maximize your Tennessee vs. North Carolina action with our FanDuel promo code.