UNC vs Virginia Odds & Picks: Will Cavs Win Comfortably?

UNC vs Virginia Odds & Picks: Will Cavs Win Comfortably? article feature image

Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images. Pictured: Kihei Clark (Virginia)

North Carolina vs Virginia Odds

Tuesday, Jan. 10
9 p.m. ET
North Carolina Odds
-105o / -115u
Virginia Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

We have an important game in the ACC regular season race on Tuesday night between the North Carolina Tar Heels and Virginia Cavaliers.

The Tar Heels will head north to Charlottesville, a place they have shockingly not won at since February 2012.

Tony Bennett has had Carolina's number throughout his tenure at UVA, but the Heels did win both meetings last season.

Both of these teams currently sit at 3-2 in the ACC standings, so this game will go a long way in the conference race.

Let's discuss where the betting value lies with Virginia currently sitting as a short favorite.

When compared to November and early December, North Carolina has been a much better team in recent weeks.

The biggest reason why: the Heels have made a conscious effort to turn it up on the defensive end. Hubert Davis' team could always score it with the talent on the roster, but Carolina has to guard if it wants to make the type of run it did a year ago.

The Tar Heels have won six of their last seven, a stretch that has featured victories over Ohio State, Michigan and Wake Forest, with the only blemish being a two-point loss at upstart Pittsburgh.

The challenge Carolina faces against Bennett's team, will be adjusting to a slower tempo game. Carolina wants to run and score it in transition, but Bennett doesn't allow that to happen.

Virginia will slow the game down — making UNC defend it in the half court — and score the ball with more sets and motion.

The Tar Heels are showing signs of improvement defensively, but part of that may be due to some weaker competition of late. Virginia's deliberate offensive style will be a good litmus test of where this team is at defensively.

Virginia Cavaliers

After an uncharacteristic down year a season ago, Virginia is back as a top-15 team in the country in '22-23.

The Cavaliers currently rank inside the top 25 in KenPom's offensive and defensive efficiency rankings, making them one of the more balanced teams in America.

Kihei Clark is one of the most experienced point guards in the country, and he quarterbacks this offense in the half-court.

Reece Beekman and Armaan Franklin have both taken significant leaps from a year ago, which has given UVA a much more dynamic offense overall.

Lastly, the additions of Ben Vander Plas and Isaac McKneely give the Hoos some size defensively and more catch-and-shoot options.

Bennett's pack line defense will look to take away the driving ability of R.J. Davis and Caleb Love, and force the Carolina guards to beat it from the outside.

If Virginia can keep UNC off of the offensive glass, it should be able to get enough stops in this game to create margin.

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North Carolina vs. Virginia Betting Pick

Bennett has owned North Carolina inside John Paul Jones Arena, and I don't see that changing on Tuesday night.

Virginia will be able to play this game at the pace it wants, and it's quite simply the more consistent team on both ends of the floor right now.

The Cavaliers have the size to neutralize Armando Bacot and should get a plethora of open looks when they have the ball on the other end.

As skilled and talented as Davis and Love are for the Tar Heels, Virginia's defensive style will be a big change in contrast to what they have seen in recent weeks.

Love, in particular, has a tendency to force things when he gets frustrated, which would be playing right into the Cavaliers' hands.

Give me UVA to win this game somewhat comfortably, covering the number in the process.

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