The Effect of Pace on the Virginia-North Carolina Over/Under

The Effect of Pace on the Virginia-North Carolina Over/Under article feature image

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured:Virginia Cavaliers guard Kyle Guy

  • The North Carolina-Viginia over/under opened at 141 and is down to 140.5 for Monday night’s ACC showdown (7 p.m. ET, ESPN).
  • Using The Action Network’s betting tools, we examine what is causing the line movement.

Which team will win the pace battle when No. 4 Virginia travels to No. 8 North Carolina on Monday (7 p.m. ET, ESPN)? The Cavaliers are one of the slowest teams in the country, averaging 63.4 possessions per game — ranking 352 out of 353 teams.

The Tar Heels prefer up-tempo games. UNC is fifth in the nation with 79.1 possessions per game. More possessions mean more scoring. Roy Williams’ squad has averaged 88.3 points per game (second) while Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers rank 151st in scoring (72.8 ppg).

Should bettors expect a shootout or a low-scoring affair?

The over/under for this ACC showdown opened 141. More than 60% of tickets are on the under and the total has dropped to 140.5. A steam move, a sudden and uniform line movement across the market caused by sharp action, was triggered on the under.

In addition to the pros being on the under, the underlying statistics and historical trends suggest UVA-UNC will be low scoring:

  • According to KenPom, Virginia and North Carolina each rank in the top 20 in adjusted defensive efficiency.
  • Since Bennett arrived in Charlottesville, the Cavs and Heels have faced each other 15 times. In only two of those games did the teams combine to score more than 140 total points.
  • On Saturday, Duke scored 81 points against Virginia. This was just the 31st time under Bennett that the Hoos allowed 70 or more points in a regular season game. In the previous 30 games following the poor defensive performance, the under went 20-9-1 per Bet Labs.

The best of the number is gone but if gamblers want to follow the sharp money and the trends it would be wise to bet the under now. Nearly 80% dollars are on the under, which means the line will likely continue to fall.